There is an old Pennsylvania Dutch saying that I use, ‘Too soon old, too late schmart’.

I love to roast turkey. It is not necessary to wait until Thanksgiving, as you can buy a frozen turkey almost anytime of the year. Of course at Thanksgiving, you can get a free one, if you spend a certain amount at the grocery store. Or there are lots of $7 specials.

I was in the mood for turkey, but as my ‘family’ consists of me and my sister, I have difficulty using up even a twelve pounder. At the counter there were turkey breast halves at $3.99 a pound, but the whole turkey was $1.99 a pound so a twelve pound turkey cost half as much as buying parts. Plus, I like the dark meat.

So, I got the brilliant idea the other day of asking the butcher to saw it in half. At first he said he could do it, but wasn’t supposed to, but he would make an exception. The only brand my market had was Norbest and it was nice and juicy.

I put half in the freezer and just made the other half. Here is what I did: I put turkey in plastic bag in cold water to start defrosting, then put in pyrex dish in fridge uncovered to ‘crisp the skin’. 

I rubbed skin with thyme, salt and pepper and let it sit in fridge a couple of days. (At least 24 hours.) The best way to cook a turkey half is cut side down, at 350 for about two hours or a little less. Until nicely browned and 162 degrees in thigh.

Here is my ‘secret’ coating for the turkey. Olive oil, soy sauce, dijon mustard, garlic cloves chopped up or pressed, oregano, and lots of pepper. No certain amounts, but if you are into measuring, probably half a cup of oil and a third cup of soy. The soy browns it and gives it plenty of salt. Rub all over, and if you don’t want to set turkey directly on pan, you can use a rack or just set it on a sliced up apple and a sliced up onion. (for flavor).

After taking it out of the oven, cover with foil. To keep turkey moist, wrap it in a wrung out clean wet dishtowel in the fridge. Then cover with foil.

Also, to make the best cranberry sauce, I use Ocean spray and zest the skin of an orange all over and let it rest in fridge. Much fresher tasting. If you like to make your own out of fresh cranberries, the easiest, best no cooking way is in the Cuisinart food processor.

Simply put half a bag of cranberries, half cup sugar and a cut up navel orange WITH the skin, Pulse until all blended and sort of chunky/smooth. I usually start with 1/4 cup sugar and add as needed, as cranberries are sometimes more bitter. You can freeze the other half of the bag for the other half of the turkey.