I got started around noon last Saturday, following the instructions in the included Turkey 101 pamphlet to a tee. I washed the bird inside and out, made Martha's stuffing, wrapped the bird in a butter and wine dipped sheet of cheesecloth, then roasted it for hours. This buttery wet blanket is a great way to keep the turkey moist and the skin from burning. It only comes off in the final hour or so of roasting.
The results were good, not spectacular, but completely satisfying, especially with a big splash of gravy. I did have to keep a close eye on the internal temperature of the bird, because it turned out to be done at least an hour before the instructions indicated. The flavor was mild, perhaps too mild. I might have appreciated some suggestions in the instructions for giving the meat a little more flavor: herbs slipped beneath the skin, a spice rub, etc. The bird made a beautiful presentation and the instructions were easy to follow. The young turkey is "humanely raised, and vegetarian fed" and is free of antibiotics and growth hormones (which is actually mandated by law, so no big kudos to Martha for that). I trust that she is sourcing a quality product, and that's one reason to go this route over the larger factory farmed turkeys you might find at the supermarket. The price is not low, but remember that you are paying not only for the quality of the bird, but for the convenience of a turkey delivered to your door. • Buy It: Martha Stewart Young Turkey (12 lbs $69.99, 18lbs $89.99) Must order by midnight EST,
- Williams-Sonoma's Willie Bird Organic Free-Range Turkey (12 - 14lbs, $89.95)
- Heritage Foods USA's Thanksgiving Heritage Turkey (8 - 10lbs, $119)
- Local Harvest's Pastured American Bronze Turkeys (8 - 10lbs, $85)
- Lobel's Free-Range Thanksgiving Turkeys (10 - 12lbs, $74.98)
(Images: Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan)