Okay, so I didn't get my act together and made this the day after Thanksgiving. Since this was to be my very first crock-pot experience, I researched a load of websites and recipes finally settling on one. At times I find I'm deliriously confident like now. Let's not test cooking in a crock-pot on a basic dinner, let it be a holiday dinner! In retrospect, it probably would have been fine except that I second guessed the recipe and it was way overcooked.
This is what I wrote about the experience as the day proceeded:
STARTED @ 12 PM
Prep took 1 hr. and 10 min. For a rack to set the bird on I used 3 whole carrots and 2 stalks chopped celery and onion. Half the celery and onion I reserved and tossed on top of the bird where the pieces fell into the various cracks and crevices. The prep work probably would have been less but I had no concept of size when I purchased a 6.83 lb. bone-in, turkey breast for my never-used 4 qt. crock-pot! Thank goodness I had spotted a poultry sheers at Marshall’s about a month ago.
I’d always wanted one but the one time I bought a good kitchen sheers, it was used to cut wire in the garage…. Now that I live alone, I decided that there would be no more encounters with wire or edging the lawn with it for that matter. I found a $15 poultry sheers for $7.99! Afterwards, I really did wonder why I wasted my money on such a specialized item; after all, how often would I use it? Well, it just paid for itself!
A 6.83 lb. turkey breast with rib cage will NOT fit in a 4 qt. crock pot; even sideways. So out came my brand new poultry sheers and I cut right through the rib cage about 2 inches out from the backbone and removed it. This allowed the breast to flatten just enough to sit on its rack of carrots and chopped celery and onion. And there was just enough room to fit the backbone down the side of the pot by the breast. Voila!
I also took the stick of butter and sliced it like a loaf of bread into ¼ inch slices and put 2 under the skin on each side of the breast along with all the sage leaves. The other 4 slices were stuck under the breast with the handfuls of thyme and rosemary and a sprig of sage. I had salt and peppered the bird before putting it in the pot. Then poured a bit of chicken stock over the top. Finished it off with three sprigs of sage across the bird because it looked pretty. Lid on, plugged in and dialed to high. It was now 1:10 PM. So we’ll see in about 4 -6 hours. Another item I invested in when I moved here was an instant read thermometer to augment my regular meat thermometer. I think that will come in handy today. It looked really good as the cooking began.
As I said, sadly, I second guessed the recipe so instead of cooking it for 4-6 hours on high for a 4 lb. turkey breast with ribs, I figured I needed to add some time for my 6.83 lb. bird. So I cooked it for 7.5 hours. Big mistake. Really big mistake. It was so dry, even though I left the skin on and it had plenty of juice, that it really wasn't edible. Well it was, but you had to drink a glass of water with each bite. I'm still debating if I should use it for chicken enchiladas or toss it. So sad. Live and learn. Hope everyone had a very thankful day. I know Frost and I did as we feasted on a ham sandwich! Well, she got a nibble.
Labels: In the Kitchen