This is less a guide than a series of reminders to my partner Raine and me of what we did well, but -- much more importantly -- what needed improvement. Ad Astra per Aspera!
Resting on its sweet potato cushion, the bird goes in the oven. But let us NEVER place it on the lowest rack again. It makes it much too hard to remove.
After an hour at 400+ degrees, the buttery skin is crisp, but the rest of the turkey needs another 4 hours at 350 degrees.
We only basted once in those five hours.
If you've ever wondered what the inside of a digital thermometer looks like, try this experiment: ignore your wife's objections and insist that the "meltproof" plastic should remain in the bird. . . .
. . . Then, once it starts to melt, use your best set of tongs to pull it out of the turkey's breast before the meat is rendered completely toxic. Then find the one open supermarket & buy a new one.
There was so much liquid we had to bail out the pan before we could lift it out of the oven.
All's well that ends well . . .
Cutting off the whole breast.
The whole breast, ready for Eli to expertly carve.
The meat separated easily from the carcass.
Moist stuffing @ 165 degrees.