Not all meals go smoothly. But while this year's Christmas dinner didn't turn out exactly as I planned, it did turn out completely delicious. Out of all my tried and true recipes I planned on making for Christmas dinner, only two ended up on the plates - simple mashed potatoes and my Apple Carrot and Parsley Dressing. All the rest of my recipes were new!
I know that you might be turkey-ed out now, but incase anyone out there plans for their next turkey as early as I do, here is the recipe that made my Christmas turkey the juiciest, crispiest, best Christmas turkey I have ever made.
Cranberry Orange Christmas Turkey - enough butter for one 15-20 pound turkey
1/3 cup of butter
Zest from one large orange
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon dried sage (or 2 tablespoons fresh sage)
1. Finely chop cranberries and sage. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix so the butter has a little bit of everything in each smear.
2. Gently pull the skin of the turkey breast back so you can slip your hand between the skin and the flesh of the bird. Try not to rip the skin or poke a hole in it so that your turkey can remain as juicy as possible.
3. Spoon the butter under the skin and smear it around so the entire breast is covered.
4. Bake your turkey until it's internal temperature reaches 175 degrees, usually 13-15 minutes a pound for an unstuffed turkey baked at 325 degrees. And, if you like, follow some of my turkey cooking suggestions from Thanksgiving 2011.
Yum, this turkey was so good I could almost go another round and cook Christmas dinner all over again tonight. Or better yet, I'll just warm up some leftovers!