A Denver Family's Adventure Through The Ups And Downs of Life

Monday, January 18, 2010

My First Turkey Dinner

I know that I had Christmas dinner at our house, but we had ham instead of turkey. I'm not sure if anyone took pictures of the meal and the ham, but it turned out well and the entire day was a great success.

During that weekend, I reorganized my freezers and found a 12.5 pound turkey that I bought during the sale before Thanksgiving last year. I know that frozen meat doesn't last much longer than one year. Since I had thrown out so many other things from the freezer, I was determined not to throw this out, too.

Starting this past Tuesday, I put the turkey in the refrigerator to thaw; hoping that it would be unfrozen by Saturday or Sunday. Saturday was such a busy day that I didn't have time to even check that it had thawed. After we got home from having lunch at our friend's house on Sunday, I checked on the turkey and it was thawed. Hurray!!!

The directions said that a 12.5 pound turkey would take 3-3.75 hours to cook at 325F degrees. I rinsed out the turkey (taking out the neck- yuck!!) and was able to put it in the oven at 4pm. I wanted to make a citrus turkey, so I hurried to the store and bought 2 oranges, 2 lemons and 2 limes to cut in half and stuff inside the turkey. My shopping trip only took 20 minutes, so I shoved the items in and closed the oven door. Unfortunately, only the oranges and lemons fit.

After about an hour, I could smell the turkey cooking, but not the citrus smell.

We went along with our normal Sunday night routine-- play with Sam, give him a bath at 6pm, feed him and get him ready for bed.

I checked on the turkey after 2:57 cooking and the button was sticking out. I pierced the breast and took the temperature with our cooking fork; 172F degrees. I took the pan with the turkey out of the oven and placed it on hot pads on the counter to cool. It looked really good. I was hoping that it tasted as good as it looked and was juicy.

We put Sam to bed and Brian made me a plate while I was upstairs making sure that Sam fell asleep without incident, which he did. The breast did not taste of citrus, but Brian has some dark meat and he said that it tasted wonderfully citrus-y.

When Brian was carving up the turkey to store in our refrigerator, he found a bag with the rest of the stuff (heart, etc.) still in the bird. Ha. Ha. I forgot to take it out before putting it into the oven. At least it didn't spoil the taste of the meat. I'll try to remember to take it out next time.

Now that it is cooked, we can take some of the meat and freeze it so that we don't waste it.

I'm very proud of myself.


  1. Good job! We have a 22 lb turkey taking up SO much space in our freezer, I guess I should make it. I can eat the white meat on my diet, but not the potatoes or stuffing, which is the best part of a turkey dinner!

  2. I made my first turkey with the Thanksgiving-sale birds, and was pretty proud of it too. I dug around awhile trying to find the heart & gizzards... and then realized I was finagling around in the wrong end of the bird. ;)


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