I am not one for prepared foods, I like to make my own recipes from scratch however, there are occasions when using a pre-packaged product comes in handy, especially if you are not very comfortable preparing a whole turkey. I know a handful of friends and family members that get a little flustered or creeped out at times about removing a neck and giblets from the inside cavity of their bird, and even the thought of rinsing and drying a bird doesn’t set well with them – well, no worries. Jennie-O Oven Ready Turkey is the perfect bird for your Thanksgiving table.
This whole turkey is a no-thaw pre-brined bird that you place directly in your oven and within a few hours it’s ready to serve. The ease of this turkey is amazing and the flavors are not overly salty – it’s clean with a nice herby finish. Yes, I too am surprised at how nice this turkey tastes and after removing it from it’s bag it’s still intact, and presentable to your guests.
What I liked about it was that I didn’t have to thaw it first or think about which brine to use – I just set it in a roasting pan and placed it in the oven. A couple of adjustments I would make is to reduce the cooking time by 1 hour and let the turkey sit in the bag before removing for about 20 minutes. I found it didn’t need to be cooked quite as long as suggested.
The gravy that is included in the bag has decent taste, I added half apple juice with water as opposed to just water. What I would do next time is probably use the juices from the bag and make my own gravy from scratch, but if you are not comfortable with the whole gravy thing – the prepared gravy will do just great.
1 cup apple juice, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove turkey from outside bag, be careful not to cut the inside bag.
- Loosen the bag around the turkey with your fingers and cut six 1/2 inch slits on top. Place turkey in a roasting pan with at least 3-inch sides.
- Place pan in oven with legs towards back of oven and roast for 3 hours. Remove and let sit on stove top in roasting pan for 25 minutes.
- Cut sides of bag and let juices run into pan. Tear top off bag, be careful not to rip skin if stuck to bag (loosen with knife) and let turkey rest for 30 minutes in pan. Cover with foil to keep warm. Pour gravy packet into a saucepan and add juice and 1/2 cup water, heat until simmering.
- Using two spatulas, lift turkey on a platter. Carve turkey when ready and serve with gravy. Enjoy!