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December 28, 2010

Roast Turkey-Boob Side Down

With the plethora of sugary treats I've ingested in the past two weeks, my body is seriously craving some protein. All I want for food is meat and brussels sprouts....weird, huh?

I had bought a turkey after Thanksgiving and stuck it in the freezer with the thought of practicing my turkey roasting skills sometime in the near future.  I have a confession.....

I'm not the best turkey roaster. 

I'm intimidated by the turkey. 

I have turkey issues.

But I do love to eat turkey. 

Freezer space is limited in our house and considering we just picked up our natural beef that was recently harvested, I had to make room for the beef in the freezer so out came the turkey.  

I've only roasted a few turkeys in my life and have had issues with retaining as much juice {or any juice} when roasting a bird, especially the breast area.  I scanned online for some tips on roasting turkey and came across a method of roasting the bird, boob-side down.   Hey, it's worth a shot, right?

I didn't have much time to prepare this 13 pound bird, I had been for a visit at my parent's house and arrived home at around 2:30.  I quickly washed the turkey, inside and out, olive oiled it, salted inside and out and peppered the outside as well.  I also stuffed the cavity with onion and quartered lemon.  Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then turn down the temp to 350 for the remainder of the time. 

I didn't tie the legs together, which probably helped it cook faster.....I'm not sure.  This bird roasted for about 2 hours and 45 minutes.  I let it rest, covered with foil for another 20 - 30 minutes.

As you can see, roasting boob side down leaves the breasts lighter in color.  If you're worried about achieving that toasted brown color on the breasts, you can flip the bird over for the last 5 minutes and broil for color.

Everything was completely cooked and remained juicy.  I was extremely happy with the results and will definitely use this method again.  Yay!

Have you ever tried this method?  What's your favorite method of preparing a turkey?  Deep fried, roasted, smoked?

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Katie said...

Boob side down. I love it Nancy. I have roasted a turkey this way as I read that it kept the juices in better and the white meat more moist. However I love the "look" of a traditional roasted turkey. I don't "stuff" a turkey with stuffing. I stuff it with garlic cloves, fresh rosemary, sage, onions and then plenty of fruit like oranges and apples. I roast turkeys. I also use turkey burger in just about anything I would normally use beef in. Smoked turkey is great also which we get as holiday gifts from our local Hutterite colony.

Teresa said...

A professional BBQ chef told me that breast-side down is the only way to roast a turkey, but I've never tried it because I want my turkey to look like Norman Rockwell's painting (it never does, though.) Seeing your results, I might try to "flip the bird" next time :)

ann said...

I will try Boob side down that is different sounds like Katie did it. I always put it in a bag and roast on low heat.
Looks good

Nancy Grossi ~ Churned In Cali ~ The Wife of a Dairyman said...

@Katie, good to know you've tried this sound like a pro! I think the smoked turkey would be really great tasting:)

@Teresa, I'm glad to hear a professional chef told you a turkey would be juicier if roasted in this truly is!

@ann, in a bag! I've never tried that method. Sounds like it would be extremely juicy that way as well!

Samantha said...

I was taught to cook a turkey boob side down from a professor I took poultry science class from at Cal is truly the best method. Of course, he didn't call it "boob side down" lol!

Anonymous said...

I like to use a cooking bag too, it saves all the juice and what I can't use I pour a little over the dogs food and he thinks it must be a special day for him.

Nancy Grossi ~ Churned In Cali ~ The Wife of a Dairyman said...

@anonymous, I'm intrigued by this 'cooking bag' I will have to look into purchasing some of them:)

Michelle said...

I've never cooked one boob side down, but may have to try - I normally put pats of butter under the skin on the breasts as well as some herbs then every 30 minutes pour a white wine over the breasts. Cover with alum, foil tented after the first 30 minutes and mine has come out nice and juicy. Hmm, but boobs side down would be an interesting try - although I can see me attempting to flip the turkey over at the end and it go skidding across the kitchen floor, much to the pleasure of the animals :-)

Nancy Grossi ~ Churned In Cali ~ The Wife of a Dairyman said...

@Michelle, lol! The very same reason I didn't attempt to flip the bird at the end:)