I just spent an hour grappling with a very large turkey.
Why am I roasting a turkey on Wednesday, Dec. 7 you ask? Well, Dave helped a family from church move last Saturday and they gave us a turkey. A really big one. And this is my last week before I return to full time work, and I have today off. We’re going to be gone all weekend, so I thought I’d take advantage of my day and make a turkey dinner for tonight. Easier said than done.
I don’t really like handling raw poultry. I find it gross. But I was the only person home, so I sucked it up. First I started cutting the plastic ties that held the legs together. I quickly realized they went deeper into the bird and weren’t coming out anytime soon. I abandoned them and moved on.
How are you supposed to tell if the turkey is thawed on the very inside? I thought my turkey was thawed. It sat in the fridge for four days, and then I put it in cold water in the sink this morning. But once I’d gone past the point of no return, I realized the little bag in the breast cavity was still frozen to the bird.
I started running cold water down into the cavity. But that wasn’t working very fast. So I did what I know you should never, ever do. Please don’t try this at home. I ran hot water into the cavity. I know, I know. Bad Bekah. You should only use cold water. I’ve done it before on a roast chicken that had the same problem, and neither Dave nor I are dead, so I did it again.
Then it seemed like the little paper bag was loose enough to come out. But only the top was loose enough to come, and the bag ripped and left half of the nasty insides behind. Why do they have to put paper bags in there? Is it a sanitary reason? Because in my experience, the paper always rips and then I have to actually touch the insides, which I’m not okay with. Since the neck or whatever it is was still stuck in the cavity, I grabbed a spoon and started trying to pull it out. This went on for about ten minutes and I succeeded in breaking my spoon and splashing bacteria-infected water all over my kitchen.
Finally I got that stupid neck out. I drained my poor water-logged turkey as best I could and hauled it onto my “roasting pan.” I don’t actually own a roasting pan; I put a cooling rack on top of a pan, and voila…a roasting pan that doesn’t really work, especially when you have a 15 pound turkey to put on it.
The turkey is now in the oven. There was a small incident at the beginning involving a lot of smoke and my hectic attempts to prevent the fire alarm from going off… but I won’t bother you with the details of that.
What I learned from my time spent cursing this turkey is that I do not want to host a Thanksgiving dinner where I am expected to make the turkey. It’s too much pressure for someone who does not like handling poultry. If we ever have Thanksgiving dinner at my house, I’m taking a page out of my parents’ book and making Philly cheese steaks.