Writer and Photographer Francine Coles
When the centerpiece of a holiday dinner is turkey, it has got to be amazing. Not only is this recipe tasty, but it is also the easiest, quickest turkey that I have ever made.
I roasted an 18-pound turkey in 90 minutes! The beauty of this is that it leaves the oven open for other dishes you may be considering — like sheet pan pumpkin macaroni and cheese and butternut squash and brussels sprout stuffing.
It is essential to time your meal and have enough space for everything, so freeing up the oven makes a huge difference!
1 (1.38-ounce) envelope onion soup mix
2 cups apricot jam
1 cup French salad dressing
1 tablespoon honey mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (16–18-pound) turkey
1 (19-by-23-inch) oven bag
1 tablespoon flour
Keep only the bottom rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine onion soup mix, jam, French dressing, honey mustard, paprika, garlic powder, celery salt and black pepper. Mix well then set aside.
Make sure that the turkey cavity is empty. Rinse and pat dry.
Sprinkle the bottom of the oven bag with flour and shake around to prevent the bag from bursting during cooking. Place the oven bag in a large roasting pan with sides at least two inches high. Slide the turkey into the bag and pour the onion soup mixture over the bird, making sure to cover the entire turkey with the sauce.
Seal the bag with the twist tie provided in the package. Cut six 1/2-inch-long slits in the top of the bag to allow the steam to escape. Place the turkey in the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees and the thickest part of the breast reaches 170 degrees.
(Note: Do not turn or baste the turkey while roasting. Do not be surprised if the turkey takes less than two hours to cook, as the bag dramatically speeds up the cooking time. Let the instant-read thermometer be your guide — not the amount of time in the oven.)
Slit the bag open and lift out the roasted turkey, placing it onto a large cutting board. Allow the bird to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
For the gravy, strain the sauce that remains in the roasting pan into a large saucepan. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then skim off any fat that has come to the surface. Over high heat, simmer until reduced to your desired consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as required.
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