We did Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, because we went shopping on Monday and couldn’t wait. (It also worked out better with our work schedules.) We opted to try Mark Bittman’s 45-minute roast turkey, with the following results:
- Bittman’s technique works better with a smaller turkey, say 10-12 pounds. We bought a 15-pounder for maximum leftovers, which made the turkey harder to flatten out.
- The turkey also needs to be completely defrosted, the closer to room temperature the better. Strong backbone + ice crystals + foolish decision to use a bread knife (which is good for carving) instead of a chef’s knife (which has enough heft to crack a joint) = tough sailing.
- Those caveats aside, it works! it makes for very good roast turkey in less than an hour. Again, smaller bird = faster cooking time.
In fact, it’s good and fast enough to make roast turkey doable anytime of year — even two days before Thanksgiving. Soak that turkey in salt water + herbs a day beforehand for optimal flavor. (Alternatively, buy kosher.)