Saturday, November 28, 2009

Be Here Now: Doing Amazing Things With a Slow Cooker

I talked to Cyndie again today and she is gearing up for her return to work on Monday. I can hardly believe it has been almost three weeks since her visit to the Emergency Room and subsequent hospitalization and emergency surgery for a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Today Cyndie volunteered in Burbank, helping with the preparations for a Rose Bowl float. She got to make dirt out of dried magnolia leaves.

Now my sister Cyndie tends to call me around dinner time, a fact we have discussed and laughed about several times since she has been off work after her surgery. So when I told her I needed to go to eat dinner, she asked me what I was eating. I replied I was continuing to enjoy leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Which prompted a conversation about how I made my Thanksgiving turkey this year.

Since I have rediscovered my crock pot slow cooker this Fall, I have been having fun trying new recipes. I got to wondering if you could make a whole turkey in a crock pot. After all, there are recipes for making a whole chicken in a slow cooker. So I took a trip on the Internet and found this fantastic post: CrockPot Whole Turkey Recipe at the blog A Year Of Slowcooking.

This recipe uses the The Diestel Petite Turkey, "the perfect everyday turkey." I was able to find a 8.33 pound one at my local Whole Foods in the refrigerated case. I followed the recipe almost exactly as written, but I found that my turkey didn't quite reach 140 degrees on my meat thermometer at 3 hours. I was worried, but put the lid back on and let it cook for another 3 hours. The only addition I made was to insert a pop up thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. It was a good addition, because it let me know that at the six hour point my bird was done. I pulled out my meat thermometer once again and my bird registered 180 degrees.

Crock-PotImage by What's the rush via Flickr

It worked! The turkey was moist and delicious and loaded with my favorite, dark meat. It's a real treat eating all the leftovers. Plus there was a generous amount of turkey juices at the bottom of the crock that made the base for some full-flavored turkey gravy.

I plan to repeat this recipe many more times. I am hoping that I can find The Diestel Petite Turkey closer to the 6 pound size for next time. I strongly suggest you use the pop up thermometer as well so you don't have to lift the lid to check the temperature, which increases cooking time when you release the steam.

I am posting this recipe for my sister Cyndie so she can try this recipe too. Enjoy Cyndie and leave me a comment to let me know how your bird turns out. That's goes for anyone else reading this post too.

Get your own crock pot at Amazon.com

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