++ A 10 lb. turkey – COOKED ‘IN A HURRY’! – takes approximately 1 1/2 hours to 1 3/4 hours. ++ A 10 lb. turkey – cooked in the usual way – would take approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
I recently visited a local ‘meat outlet’ where I purchased a 10 pound frozen turkey. I immediately thought DINNER PARTY! As the old adage goes (from a poem by Robert Burns) The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men often go awry and my dinner party idea just didn’t work out. Instead, at the last minute, I ended up preparing the turkey at one of my friend’s homes. It was the day after a ‘Women’s Night Out’ and I’m surprised we had the energy, but between the two of us we put together a delicious turkey dinner in about two hours!!
Here’s the secret to cooking a 10 pound turkey so quickly – you simply cut out the breast bone and lay the turkey or chicken down flat!! I used to do this all the time with whole chickens when we lived at our farm in Quebec and often fed masses of people, including neighbors, friends, family and visitors!!
++ To estimate how long it will take to roast a turkey or chicken this way, calculate how long it would usually take, then plan on cooking your bird a bit more than half the time … or so.
++ Be sure to use a meat thermometer to ascertain exactly when turkey/chicken is fully cooked.
How to Roast a Turkey – or a Chicken – “In a Hurry” !
Preheat oven to 425F ++ You will be lowering heat to 350F after 20 minutes.
- If you bought a frozen turkey/chicken – it must be thoroughly defrosted. Be be sure, just stick your hand inside….
- Lay the bird – breast side up – on a large cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the flesh and skin from the breastbone on both sides. Pull the breastbone forward, then cut the breastbone from the rest of the body ++ Look for the place where the breastbone is attached to the body… there’s a joint there, so it’s easier to cut. ++ Leave breast meat attached to the rest of the body.
++ A wooden cutting board is probably best as the bird won’t slip as easily. Just be sure to wash it well after and include a drop of bleach in the water you’re washing it in.
- Rub turkey/chicken skin with some olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme etc. – whatever you feel like sprinkling the meat with such as Montreal Steak Seasonings or Chili Powder.
- Place prepared turkey/chicken on a rack set in a low-sided pan.
++ I highly recommend a rack like the one shown which has handles for lifting the finished bird out of the oven. They’re easy to find and aren’t expensive. In fact, I just checked at Bed, Bath & Beyond and you can get one for under $10.00!
++ If you don’t happen to have a rack, crunch aluminum foil into a coil & place turkey/chicken on top. Or (and this gives more flavor) place large pieces of cut up onion, apple or orange (with the skin) under the open part of the turkey/chicken.
- Place the pan on middle rack of oven set at 425 F.
- Set timer for for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, lower heat to 350F
- Continue to roast bird until thermometer placed in the thickest part of the leg (close to where the thigh meets the body) reaches 180°F. ++ The temperature is usually 170°F – but I recommend 180°F for this method.
• Lift bird onto platter, and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
++ For gravy, you can simmer the breastbone, along with the neck and heart, in some salted water to which some chopped onion has been added. Use this simmered liquid, instead of water, when you make your gravy. For a really easy gravy, I use two packets Durkee’s Turkey Gravy prepared with some of the simmered liquid, drippings from the pan and, if you have it, a bit of red wine. Enjoy !