We bought one of those pre-cooked turkeys, ordered a small Cajun fried turkey from Kroger just to see what it would look like. Got a call the day before it was due for pickup and was told they were out of those, would I like an oven roasted one? Yeah, OK. It was a pallid looking thing that may have been thoroughly cooked but it definitely needed some time in a hot oven to brown. We slowly brought it up to 150 degrees internally in a covered electric roaster with water under the rack and then transferred it to a 500 degree oven to finish – that took 20 minutes or so and improved the look. We were thinking that buying a pre-cooked bird would be easier than from raw but it wasn’t. And no giblets! They did send a quart of gravy in a boiling bag.
We ordered the Deluxe Turkey Dinner, it came with the green bean casserole, dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, plus some sort of cranberry relish and a tub of Classic Dressing – we didn’t bother to open either one. We added the sweet potato dish, the corn, our own cranberry relish, and my famous Southern style cornbread dressing. Their green beans were barely OK, they needed some more time, uncovered, in the oven. The mashed potatoes were ..mashed potatoes. Sort of meh, but that’s why gravy.
We had plenty to keep us occupied. The sweet potato dish: cubed, roasted in olive oil and honey with cinnamon. The fresh cranberries were cooked with the zest of an orange and its juice, with added dried cranberries and dried blueberries.
I boned the carcass and made stock, it simmered on the stove all night. Thanks to a tiny burner on the new stove I didn’t fear leaving it on. It did make for some good looking stock. I’ll let it come to room temperature, ladle it into plastic containers, freeze those, and then vacuum seal the lot.