Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Slow cooker: EASY turkey!

Earlier this month Mother Nature gave me an early birthday present and had some delightful weather in the mid-fifties. It was rainy and some would consider it dreary but I was absolutely loving it :) It also made me want some warm and yummy fall comfort foods!

I was yearning for Thanksgiving but don't always have patience for the prep and clean up of an oven roasted turkey. So, I got into researching... did you know you can cook turkey in a slow cooker!?!?

I found this incredible simple recipe on http://www.allrecipes.com/

Slow Cooker Turkey

1 bone-in turkey breast, about 5-6 pounds
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix - ya know, that blue box :)
1 tb butter (optional)
1/4 cup chicken broth (optional)

Cut off any excess skin of the turkey. Rub onion soup mix all over outside of the turkey and under the skin. Place in a slow cooker. Add butter and broth if you want. Cover, and cook on High for 1 hour, then set to Low, and cook for 7 hours.

From personal experience: flip the turkey if you can about half way through cooking. Also, don't be an idiot like me and accidentally turn the slow cooker "off" instead of on "low" for an hour after the hour on high... yeeea... that was dumb of me... I cooked it an extra hour on high to make up for it.

Yup, that's it. I had a little scared because my frozen 5 pound turkey didn't seem to fit in the slow cooker, but after it thawed I was able to jam it in after I cut off the neck part. I happened to have a little chicken broth left over from another recipe so I added that too, and was able to make a little gravy out of it. It was amazingly tender and my husband, who doubted this recipe from the very beginning, was pleasantly surprised. We ate it with HUGE sweet potatoes and then used the leftovers to make several turkey sandwiches as well as this Turkey Tetrazinni.

I realize that the "blue box" dried onion soup mix is not the most natural of of seasonings.... sodium diphosphate, coloring, probable MSG... ick. I just couldn't resist the simplicity of this recipe (and the fact that I had the soup in my pantry from awhile back). If you can think of any natural and flavorful replacements, please discuss in the comments!