My family is fairly competitive (how many people are scoffing at this understatement right now? do you know us?).
3 girls within 5 years of each other – all overlapping in sports, classes, childhood crushes and clothing sizes. We all want to be winners in, well frankly, everything.
One campaign I’ve been running (and, surely, I have to be the frontrunner): Future Holiday Host-er.
Maybe you think that’s not a real thing, but considering we spent ~3 hours last Christmas seeing which of us could hold our arm in the air the longest…this competition is very much very real and serious.
It should be noted — my mother is in no way about to give up her holiday hosting duties. But, as any true competitor knows, if you campaign early enough, by the time the torch passes, you’ll have already established yourself as the inevitable successor (muhahahah #winning!).
So inviting 10 people over to our tiny New York apartment — clad with 1 oven, 1 broken microwave, 0 dishes big enough for a turkey and only a 4-person dining room table — well, let’s call it an intense training exercise.
Oh, also, I had never made a turkey before.
So I scoured the internet, broke a sweat, stressed out for an hour, finally combined a few good ideas and here’s what I came up with.
- 1 13-15lb turkey, neck and giblets removed
- 1 bottle champagne
- 14.5 oz can chicken broth
- 1 orange, cut in wedges
- 1 yellow onion, also cut in wedges
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 stalked celery, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley, dried rosemary, dried sage & dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper & salt
First, let your turkey thaw, reach your hand swiftly up its bum, grab its neck and giblets (wtf is a giblet btw?) and pull them out. This is not fun. Rinse the inside of the turkey well, pat it dry and place in your pan.
There are no photos of this — there’s no need for anyone to see me shrieking with a turkey liver in one hand and a detached turkey neck in the other at 10am on a Sunday.
Now, fun things! Pop open the champagne! Pour it on your bird / maybe a little in your mouth! Also do so with the chicken broth (do not pour this in your mouth). Roll your turkey around in its bubble bath (get it? bubbles?) and then prep your seasonings.
Now…you see those little glorious, golden nuggets tucked right beneath your turkey’s skin?
Just take your kitchen scissors, cut slits in the skin and slide ~1/3-1/2 tablespoon slices of butter right underneath!
Our turkey was 13.3 pounds and took 3.5 hours, uncovered in a 350 degree oven. Open the oven every 40-60 minutes and baste the bird — pouring the pan sauce all over the skin to ensure a crispy, delicious coat.
Now, you know what goes super well with a savory bird?
Tart Cranberry Sauce.
Let’s make our own.
- 2 bags fresh cranberries
- 1 bag frozen strawberries
- 1/2-1 cup (I stay near the 1/2) granulated sugar
Bring to a boil, let simmer until cranberries pop and strawberries cook down.
*I love tart, if you don’t, add more sugar!*
Here’s to everyone having a very merry holiday!