Monday, October 10, 2011

Savory Monday–Thanksgiving Turkey 101

Well my intention today was to show you with pictures…oops.   Don’t get me wrong we had a great dinner and the turkey was fabulous.  One small detail I forgot was to take the after picture.  So I’m going to need you to use your imagination, if you don’t mind.  I can give you signed affidavits if you need them to confirm my review, but I assure you if you want a juicy, delicious turkey for Thanksgiving you need to follow this recipe.

First up you need a turkey.  Now it’s October and Thanksgiving in Canada is always the first weekend and usually my sister’s birthday weekend.  Happy Birthday Meredith!!!!

I digress. When I went to the local grocery store here in Cary, NC and asked if I could order a fresh turkey, the butcher looked at me like I had two heads.  So I had to settle for frozen.  No biggy, I shall persevere!

Next you need wine, minimum two bottles but feel free to indulge in more.  I like to use a good un-oaked Chardonnay.  If you live in Canada, grab the East Dell Un-Oaked Chardonnay, it’s awesome.  But here in the states we can’t get the good Niagara wines, so Rob got something called Abbyville, which Abby thought was pretty awesome.  It really was quite tasty wine.

So the first bottle of wine is for the turkey and the second (or third) is for you!  I like to call this drunk Turkey!

So here’s the before!  I had good intentions with the pictures.



  • 12-14 lbs turkey
  • 1 bottle wine or two (I won’t judge)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, plus 4 tbsp
  • fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic bulbs
  • 3 lemons
  • salt and pepper
  • cheese cloth

Directions: For convection oven! Preheat oven for 325 degrees.

  1. Rinse turkey and pat dry.  Salt and pepper cavity.
  2. Cut lemons and garlic bulbs in halves, insert in cavity.
  3. Add fresh thyme sprigs to cavity, plus 2 tbsp butter
  4. In sauce pan, melt 1 cup butter and add 3/4 to full bottle of wine.
  5. With remaining butter softened, rub over turkey, salt and pepper again.
  6. Dip cheese cloth in butter and wine and cover turkey, leaving legs exposed.
  7. Ladle two to three scoops of butter/wine over turkey. Have a glass of wine (without butter) yourself!
  8. Put in oven, baste with butter/wine every 30 minutes.  For last 30 minutes remove cheese cloth.
  9. Remove from oven around 1hr 45mins, or when leg temperature reaches 180 degrees.
  10. Cover with tin foil and towels, let sit 15-20minutes.

I have to say that this turkey was fantastic and on time!  Unlike last year where it was done an hour before our guests were to arrive…another oops (I have a few, but I’m only human!)

We served this succulent bird with roasted fingerling potatoes, mixed green salad, pasta salad, sweet potato casserole, roasted asparagus, and stuffing.  Thanks to our guests for all the great side dishes!  For the kids we served homemade mac&cheese.  It was a big success!

Then there were the desserts! Pumpkin pie of course!  Also a caramel apple Bundt cake and maple leaf sugar cookies! (will post separately about these because really desserts are what I do!)

So I apologize for no after pics, I could just post an “off the internet” one but that would be untruthful.  So I hang my head in shame and drink another glass of wine!


Thanks for looking!

Linking with:
Hunk of Meat Monday
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop
These Chicks Can Cook
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try


  1. Love cooking with wine. Makes having an excuse to drink a glass so much easier. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Thanks for linking up to Hunk of Meat Monday.

  2. Happy Birthday to Meredith! This turkey recipe sounds great. I'll have to remember to try it next year with our bird. Happy Thanksgiving, your dinner sounded great.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving! Drunk turkey seems like the recipe for me, I'll need to try it this November!

  4. The sounds delicious. My dad (the official turkey cooker in our family) does something similar with butter and bourbon (probably not quite as much bourbon as you used about drunk turkey!) and it's always really good. The cheesecloth trick sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing!

    Visiting from TCC,

  5. I so enjoyed this post! It reminded me of my adventures trying to find turkey for Canadian Thanksgiving here in England. I love your 'drunk turkey' recipe - it sounds gorgeously moist! Thank you for sharing it with the Hearth and Soul hop.