Cook Time: 5-6 hours
Rest Time: 20 min
Make Again: Yes
Recipe Source: Cook's Country (December 2012)
As much as I love to cook, I have never made a Turkey before. I tried to help my mom one Thanksgiving when I was a young adult and it grossed me out so much, I became a vegetarian soon after. That lasted 7 years. I eat meat all the time now, but I still don't like dealing with things on the bone, let alone an entire bird.
I usually bring side dishes to family meals for Thanksgiving. When it is just the two of us I have done a boneless skinless turkey breast. But those never taste anything like Thanksgiving turkey to me. So this year when I saw this recipe on the America's Test Kitchen Feed, (recipe is behind the paywall now) I decided to at least try a real breast on the bone.
I wasn't sure what to expect – thinking the turkey would be steamed and I knew it wouldn't be as pretty as roasted turkey.
It was not pretty, that is true, but once carved, you only noticed that it didn't have skin. It was the most moist turkey I've ever had, and the gravy was delicious. I will definitely use this recipe again.
Part of what makes this recipe work is that you take off the skin and cook it in skillet first to render the fat and then you saute the vegetables in that fat to start your gravy. You sort of make the gravy in the beginning and cook the turkey on top of the gravy and vegetables and cooked skin. After you remove the turkey breast you strain the gravy and after some seasoning it tasted delicious.
If I had one complaint it is the gravy was a bit thin. It was pretty thick until I strained it and the thick stuff got stuck with the vegetables. I waited until the end to do that, so I didn't have time to thicken on the stove, but I will do that next time.
One breast ended up a little more cooked than the other side. I'm not sure why. It may have been leaning and touching the side of the slow cooker. It was still moist enough though and tasted good and will be used for some leftover recipes this weekend.