One of the most wonderful things about Thanksgiving is the tantalizing smell of turkey, basted with butter and herbs, roasting slowly in the oven.
For me, it brings back memories of happy childhood holidays celebrated at Grandma’s house. In fact, the aroma of a roast turkey is still one of those things that always puts a contented smile on my face.
As an adult, however, I have learned that one of the worst things about Thanksgiving is the messy cleanup. Who knew Grandma did so much work? She made it look so easy!
Let’s face it: Nobody enjoys standing over the sink, scrubbing baked-on bits off a greasy roasting pan. Not even Grandma. And while we all have seen the classic images of happy families gathered in anticipation around the table, eagerly looking on while the family matriarch presents the golden-brown bird, carving up a giant turkey also can be totally daunting, difficult, and messy.
With the help of a special type of nylon oven roasting bag and a twist tie (such as those from Reynolds and PanSaver), though, you can enjoy that warm, savory roasting smell filling your house, without any of the messy cleanup afterward. No need to put on those rubber gloves or soak that pan after cooking — just lift up the roasting bag, tie it up, and toss it. Turkey cleanup done!
While you can cook a whole turkey in the bag (as seen in this video), you don’t have to go with so much meat. For instance, in the turkey breast recipe below, you can cook only as much as you need, and there won’t be any tricky carving — just tender, juicy white meat, cooked to moist perfection and ready to serve.
Pat the turkey dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Fold and roll back the bag around the top three times.
Place the cut up lemons and onions in a pile in the center of the roasting bag.
Pour the chicken stock into the bottom of the roasting bag.
Place turkey inside of bag on top of the onions and lemons.
Brush melted butter all over the turkey breast coating the skin inside and on top of the breast.
Sprinkle the rosemary over the top of the breast. Season with salt and pepper.
Close roasting bag with closure that accompanied the browning bag. Do not close the bag too tightly as the bag will expand during the cooking process.
Move the oven rack low enough in the oven to allow room for the bag to puff up without touching the top of the oven during the roasting process. Place turkey breast in the oven.
Bake 1 hour at 400 degrees. Then lower the oven to 300 degrees and allow turkey to finish cooking. Total time should be 2 1/2 - 3 hours depending upon size of the turkey breast. The internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast should reach 170 degrees.
Remove from oven. Allow the turkey breast to rest for at least 20 minutes.
Remove the turkey from bag and place on chopping board. Slice turkey and serve. The cooking liquid can be reserved to use for gravy. Hint: Remove the onions before making gravy. Squeeze the lemons into the broth for a flavor boost to the gravy.