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Oven Turkey Bags? Love ’em!!

I have to admit I was pretty skeptical about using an oven turkey bag to cook our turkey this year. I am now a big fan of these wonderful inventions. No messy cleanup, the turkey comes out moist and delicious and to my surprise the turkey browned beautifully. The photo below is our actual turkey and she’s a beauty! I stuffed the turkey with my Mom’s recipe for summer savory stuffing and it was delicious. (See my other post for my Mom’s Stuffing recipe)

Smells sooo good!!
Turnips, carrots, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and the delicious turkey! Activate the tryptophan in 3…2…1…

Ingredients:

  • 12 – 24 lb. turkey (fresh or frozen and fully thawed)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh*
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-inch pieces

Instructions:

  • Move oven rack one level below center and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small mixing bowl stir together butter, garlic, thyme and season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Remove neck and giblets from turkey and remove any pin feathers left behind. Tuck wings under turkey. Season cavity of turkey with salt and pepper.
  • Using the back end of a wooden spoon separate turkey breast skin from breast. Rub butter underneath skin and smooth over skin to spread butter out.
  • Season all over turkey with a fair amount of salt and pepper.
  • Add 1 Tbsp flour to the Reynolds Kitchens Turkey Size Oven Bag and shake, leave the flour inside the bag. Place oven bag in a roasting pan, add celery, onion and carrots to oven bag. Place turkey over vegetable layer in oven bag.
  • Close oven bag with the oven safe tie included. Cut 6 slits across top of the oven bag to allow steam to escape then tuck ends of oven bag into the pan.
  • Cook unstuffed turkey according to size (the breast should register 165 degrees in center of thickest portion in several places and the thigh 175 degrees on an instant read thermometer):12 – 16 lb turkey: 2 – 2 1/4 hours16 – 20 lb turkey: 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 hours20 – 24 lb turkey: 2 1/2 – 3 hours
  • Let turkey rest 20 minutes. Carefully cut top of oven bag open, transfer turkey to carving board (I used a cookie sheet) and carve.

Notes

  • Plan about 1 lb of turkey per person, for example a 12 lb. turkey should feed about 12 people.
  • To thaw a frozen turkey allow about 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey thawing in a refrigerator set to 40 degrees. I like to add an extra day just to be safe. A fully thawed turkey can be held in the refrigerator 2 more days.
  • *Other herbs work great here including parsley, rosemary, sage or marjoram. You can also add lemon zest to the butter mixture if desired.
  • Ensure that oven bag does not touch top element or sides of oven or it can melt.



New Pendants (Part 2) – Artisans’ Market in Grapevine, Texas

Just a selection of pendants that are on their way to Texas to be sold at the Grapevine Library during the, “Friends of the Library Artisans’ Market” taking place on December 4th & December 5th, 2021. (10-5pm on Saturday and 2-5pm on Sunday.) Jewelry, pottery, wood, hand-woven textiles, graphic art, toys and puzzles, photography, accessories, paintings, ornaments and so much more! 10% of all proceeds benefit the library.




New necklaces on their way to Texas!




Turkey Gravy – Finally, an uncomplicated and tasty recipe!

I don’t know about you but I always thought that making turkey gravy was hard to do. Separating the fat, skimming off stuff, scraping bits from the pan, using a sieve, and on and on it went. Well, this recipe is fast, easy and doesn’t involve a lot of stressful thinking, unless you want to fret over gravy, then be my guest, fret away!

Here is the easy, stress-free recipe. Ready? Take a deep breath…and relax. Gravy, shmavy!

Don’t you love my fancy gravy boat? Some day I’ll get everything unpacked.

Ingredients

Pan drippings from your turkey

1/4 cup of butter

1/4 cup of flour

salt and pepper

Now you can go ahead and add some herbs if you like. Two teaspoons of fresh thyme and one tablespoon of fresh parsley leaves would be nice but really I didn’t use them the last time I made gravy and it was delicious, believe me.

Directions:

Strain pan drippings through a fine-mesh sieve; but again, I didn’t bother this time and it turned out great.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add your 1/4 cup of flour and whisk away. This creates your roux. (This is also when you would add your fresh thyme if you so desire). Do this for about one minute until lightly browned.

Gradually whisk in your pan drippings (I used about 2-1/2 cups). Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 5-7 minutes, whisking constantly until your gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Now pour that delicious gravy over everything!

Don’t forget to save some gravy to make turkey burgers the next day. Dice up some leftover turkey, add it to the gravy in a small pot and heat. Spoon it on the top of burger buns and have some oven fries on the side…with even more gravy. Ooooh, gravy heaven!

PS: If you don’t have enough pan drippings from your turkey, use store-bought turkey or chicken stock.




My Mom’s Turkey Stuffing

I grew up eating this stuffing every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas while living in Nova Scotia, Canada. I have such fond memories of smelling the summer savory wafting through the house and looked forward to the moment when it was served on my plate along with mashed carrots, turnips and potatoes, and of course lots of butter and gravy. My mother would ask me to “taste test” the stuffing to see if there was enough salt added. It usually took a couple of “tests” before I would give Mom the thumbs up. How I wish my Mom was still here to enjoy this dish and that I could make it for her as a treat.

The stuffing is at the one o’clock mark on the plate above.

Ingredients:

4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup butter

3 celery stalks, diced

1 large onion, diced

2 Tbsp dried Summer Savory

2 eggs, beaten

4 slices of bread, cut into cubes

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place potatoes in pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then immediately reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until fork tender, around 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two, then mash.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat; cook the celery and onion in the butter until the onion has turned translucent, about 5 minutes or so. Fold into the mashed potatoes along with the summer savory, and allow mixture to cool until just warm.

Place the cooled mashed potatoes into a large bowl, and stir in the beaten eggs. Gently fold in cubed bread, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Put in fridge until you are ready to use.

Use as a stuffing for turkey, or bake in buttered loaf pans at 350 degreesF for 30 to 40 minutes.

This is such a delicious and tasty dish – one to be remembered.

PS: It’s great as a reheated leftover too – just add a little butter to your frying pan and heat it up for a few minutes.