The week before Thanksgiving, I was shopping at Winco.
I spent over $100 and got a free 20 lb turkey.
I was excited and nervous, as I have NEVER baked a turkey before.
I have issues with meat, though I do love turkey and chicken...
I have issues with raw meat, especially if I have to touch it...
I have a small kitchen, and this was a big bird.
When talking with my boss about it, he told me of the way he cooks the turkey, and I had to try it.
I waited for the turkey to defrost, then I threw away the neck, and I couldn't find the giblets.
I was getting a panicky, gagging sensation...
When I finally found the Bag O Giblets...
They were put in upside down, and spilled everywhere.
Matt thought it was funny...
I did NOT...
I am prissy when it comes to raw meat.
I sucked up my courage,
because I knew this would taste good once it was actually cooked.
This bird required a lot of prep and effort, but it was so worth it in the end.
Sweet Roasted Turkey
1 Turkey, thawed
3 Celery Stalks, cut into thirds
1 White Onion, cut into wedges
4 Apples, peeled and cut in half
Orange Juice, must be 100% juice like Simply Orange
There will be a lot of hand washing involved, so keep a container of anti-bacterial soap handy.
The Night Before
Place the turkey in an oven roasting pan. Remove the Bag O Giblets and the neck. Take some paper towels to soak up the raw juices from the cavity. Using your fingers, place them in between the skin and the meat. Separate the skin from the meat all of the top of the bird. Take a few heaping tablespoons of lemon pepper, and rub it on the meat in between the skin. Do the same thing with the sea salt.
Pour half the container of Orange Juice and a third of the Sprite around the bird. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate. The sea salt and carbonation will help trap in the juices.
Rotate the bird two times during the night.
The Morning Of
Take the bird out of the fridge. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Drain out the orange juice/Sprite mixer and pat the outside of the bird and the cavity with paper towels. Peel, chop, cut the apples, celery, and onions. Rub the inside of the cavity with oregano and garlic salt. Stuff the apples, celery, and onions into the cavity. Place the roasting pan on a cookie sheet after you have covered it with tin foil.
Bake for 5 1/2 hours. For the last 1/2 hour I turned the heat up to 325 and removed the foil. Let it sit for 15 minutes before carving. Be sure to remove the apples, celery, and onions before carving.
I put mine in at 10am and it was ready to eat at 5pm, when my mom and grandparents came over.
Gobble it up and enjoy!
This was one of the juiciest turkeys I have ever had. The flavors were all subtle, but blended well together. Next time I am going to add more lemon pepper, and maybe try lemon juice instead of orange. The recipe is very forgiving and easy to customize different flavors. It made for EXCELLENT cold turkey sandwiches the next few days:)