++ A 10 lb. turkey – COOKED ‘IN A HURRY’! – takes 1 1/2 hours to 1 3/4 hours.
++ A 10 lb. turkey – cooked in the usual way – would take 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
I recently visited a local butcher shop called The Meat Outlet where I purchased a 10 pound 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.
Directions ++ Oven set at 425F for first 20 mins, then lower at 350F for remainder
++ If you bought a frozen turkey/chicken – make sure it’s thoroughly defrosted. (I’m actually not sure mine was 100% defrosted.. stick your hand inside to check.)
Lay the turkey/chicken – breast side up – on a large cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the flesh & skin from the breastbone on both sides. Pull the breastbone forward, then cut the breastbone from the rest of the body ++ Leave breast meat attached to 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.
++ A wooden cutting board is probably best ’cause the turkey/chicken 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. And, wash the cutting board last.
Below – the wings are laying on the breast meat.
You can simmer the breastbone with the neck and heart in some salted water to which some chopped onion has been added. For my gravy, I use two packets of Durkee’s Turkey Gravy prepared with some of the simmered liquid and, if you have it, a bit of red wine.
Place turkey/chicken – cut side down – on a rack which has been placed into casserole or pan.
++ I highly recommend a rack like the one shown in the photo which has handles for lifting the finished bird out of the oven. Racks with handles are 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.
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.
++ You can place large pieces of cut up onion, apple or orange (with the skin) under the open part of the turkey/chicken if you wish.
++ How to Roast Turkey ‘In a Hurry’ +++ It’s best to use a meat thermometer !!
- Preheat oven to 425F ++ You will be lowering heat to 350F after 20 minutes.
- Place the pan containing the turkey on the middle rack of the oven.
- Set timer for for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, lower heat to 350F.
- Continue to roast turkey until thermometer placed in the thickest part of the leg (close to where the thigh meets the body) reaches 180° F.
• Lift turkey onto platter, and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
++ How to Roast Chicken ‘In a Hurry’ +++ It’s best to use a meat thermometer !!
Preheat oven to 425F ++ You will be lowering heat to 350F after 20 minutes.
- Place the pan containing the chicken on the middle rack of the oven.
- Set timer for for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, lower heat to 350F
- Continue to roast chicken until thermometer placed in the thickest part of the leg (close to where the thigh meets the body) reaches 180° F.
• Lift chicken onto platter, and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Enjoy !!