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ACK! My T-day dinner just went from 5 guests to 9- Turkey help!

c
crispysaltysweet Nov 24, 2009 02:57 AM

I opened my big mouth and now look.

I said this year I would keep thanksgiving small and only invited 5 people. But of course today I had to go ahead and invite more who were without dinner on Thurs.

My problem isn't with sides, those can be stretched... it's with my turkey. I had purchased a crown- about 4.5 lbs, I know it's too small for 9 .

Do you think I could buy another crown and roast both at the same time? I can get another one about the same size... and if so then how long would one need to roast two crowns? Is it the same time- about 90 mins, or would the time double!! I bet they would both fit side by side in my roasting tin... how would that affect the cooking time?

Thanks for your sage cooking advice, oh wise culinary ones.

AM

  1. n
    Normandie Nov 24, 2009 12:28 PM

    I cook turkey breasts quite frequently, crispy. Always one by itself, though...so take my experience FWIW... I cannot imagine that it would *double* the cooking time, if I were to do two in my oven at once. I wouldn't be surprised if it took a *little* bit longer, but by that I mean *maybe* up to about 15 minutes or so.

    You know...the turkey breast (crown) I cooked the other night was actually one half (one side) of the breast from an 11-pound bird. I can't figure out exactly how much that one side of the breast weighed, but surely no more than your 4.5-pound specimen and probably less. Anyway, I got six *generous* portions out of it plus a very big turkey salad sandwich for hubby the next day. I still think it's a good idea to buy the second one, but if for some reason they don't fit together in your roasting tin...start one a little earlier, roast it...it needs time to set outside the oven before cooking, anyway...have the second one ready to put in the oven as soon as the first one comes out and it may well be done for people who want "seconds".

    I want to tell you something that's much more important about the cooking. My parents died when I was young. I moved away from home and hence the rest of my family and my childhood friends when I was 20. If, in my new city, the kind parents of new friends and co-workers hadn't invited me to join them for their holiday dinners in the years when I wasn't married, I would have spent many holidays alone. Instead, I have many, many happy memories of special holidays spent with all kinds of lovely people. I really don't remember what we ate, in particular, or whether there wasn't quite enough, or whether the groaning board was groaning ;-) due to an excess of holiday goodies. But I do remember being with them, laughing, playing cards, enjoying their lit fireplaces and Christmas trees, or talking walks after Thanksgiving Day dinner.

    Those are the things that really matter. It's natural that you want to put out a nice meal, but a thirty-course gourmet banquet could never be as nice as what you've already done by giving folks a temporary home and family for the holiday. So try not to "sweat the small stuff', as we say here in the States. You deserve a nice holiday, too, so don't get stressed about it. If the turkey doesn't go as far as you'd like, the stuffing or carrots or potatoes or sweets or whatever else you serve over there on Thanksgiving will.

    crispy, people like you are the reason that people like me have been given so much to be grateful for in our lives, and that is the true meaning of Thanksgiving. I know you'll have a wonderful celebration! God bless you.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Normandie
      l
      lil magill Nov 24, 2009 03:17 PM

      I'm with Normandie! What you're doing inviting people to join you as guests in your home is more than just commendable. It's wonderful! I've done as much many years and was always so glad afterward, even though I am generally exhausted. You are giving people wonderful things to remember and a warm feeling of inclusion. BTW, not enough people would do this for others..... Remember that going from 5 to 9 guests is really the same amount of work with a little extra pan-size mostly. Find a way to make something easier on you -- ask someone to bring a vegetable or dessert perhaps?

      1. re: lil magill
        n
        Normandie Nov 24, 2009 03:30 PM

        I agree! Ask guests to chip in. I speak from experience...I always felt better about accepting hospitality on a holiday when the hosts allowed me to bring something, whether it was a dessert or side dish, or even something little like some extra crackers or a bottle of soda if they were worried they might run out.

      2. re: Normandie
        c
        crispysaltysweet Nov 25, 2009 02:40 AM

        Thanks for your comment Normandie, I got all choked up reading it! I am very greatful to be able to spend the evening with my friends- you're right that's what it's all about since I can't be with my family. And with my two turkey crowns, there's no way my boyfriend will not be able to have a second helping which was very traumatic for him last year LOL. Thanks for the advice about roasting them, too. I feel better knowing that instead of not having enough, there definetly will be loads and we will be eating lots of turkey leftovers. Happy Thanksgiving!

        1. re: crispysaltysweet
          fayehess Nov 25, 2009 03:07 AM

          I find a big difference with the taste of the pan juices when cooking a breast vs cooking a whole turkey. It's hard to get the depth without the dark meat. I would suggest if there is even a pack of chicken legs available, sear them off and add them to the pan with the other turkeys. Searing the breasts first makes a big difference. I also find that whole heads of garlic cut in half crosswise along with a few stalks of celery, a carrot, half a seeded tomato, an onion, a bay leaf and a leek, roughly chopped and sauteed for a bit in butter before throwing in with the turkey a bunch of rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley tied together in a bunch, is a powerful flavor packer. (The regular stuffing can be made on the side, dressed with pan juices.) Buy a pack of turkey necks or chicken wings to make your stock for gravy. fayefood.com

      3. v
        Val55 Nov 24, 2009 07:16 AM

        May I also suggest that you consider picking up some thighs or drumsticks, or are you sure that all of the nine are white meat lovers?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Val55
          c
          crispysaltysweet Nov 24, 2009 08:22 AM

          In the past when serving turkey to these folks the dark meat is always what's eaten after all the white is gone... that's why I've opted for the crown this year. I thought- quicker time, less price, white meat- done! :)

          Feeling a little better about this now- thanks for your help.

        2. MMRuth Nov 24, 2009 03:41 AM

          I'd never heard of of a crown before - interesting. I would just buy another one of the same size and roast them together. I don't think it would take much longer - if at all - I would just start checking them when you normally would, and go from there. I would rotate the pan from time to time to make sure they cook evenly.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MMRuth
            c
            crispysaltysweet Nov 24, 2009 04:00 AM

            Thanks MMRuth- I'm a Boston transplant living in the UK. A crown is what we call 'hotel style' turkey back home- breast only. I have a convection oven too so I'm not worried about hot spots.

            Silly me- I am only getting a half day off work tomorrow so this is stressing me a little more than it normally would!

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