This past weekend was the unofficial launch of the holiday season for us. There were are few small signs to note the commencement, though nothing particularly unusual for a late November day.
I planted a Christmas amaryllis and placed it on a warm window sill, to be turned each day. From deep in the walk-in closet, I unearthed strings of lights for the eves and a wreath, for the front door. While the boys rakes the last of the leaves in the back yard, I baked shortbread in the kitchen and sent out hot cocoa to warm their tummies.
In the evenings, I splashed cranberry syrup in a glass with a little gin and tonic and sat down to plan, really plan, my cookie swap, as well as make a list of holiday baking essentials. For Sunday dinner dessert I opened up a jar of mincemeat and serve mini tarts with tea. It felt like the right thing to do.
These are the day of shortbread and spice, cocoa and cranberries. It’s a time of careful list making and time-saving tricks, like today’s post for storing and reheating turkey while still keeping it moist. It’s a classic kitchen trick, nothing I can take credit for, but a solid one, nevertheless, and a tried and true method used by my mother-in-law every Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Seeing as our numbers can reach as high as 40 or 50 on major holiday’s, Danny’s step-mother cooks her turkey (sometimes two) the day before the dinner, carves them completely, and packages them between lettuce leaves as shown. The lettuce prevents the meat from drying out, both overnight and during the reheat.
Roasting the bird, and getting the carving out of the way is a huge time-save on Thanksgiving or Christmas day. It also means the gravy can be made in advance with the turkey drippings.
So if you are considering roasting a turkey in advance, or simply hoping to reheat leftovers, this method is for you.
- Carve the turkey and slice into portions.
- Line an oven-proof dish with iceberg lettuce.
- Layer turkey inside the dish.
- Drizzle turkey with a little turkey or chicken stock.
- Top turkey with more iceberg lettuce.
- Cover dish tightly with foil and chill.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Bake for 20 minutes with foil and lettuce intact
- Check if the turkey is heated through.
- If hot enough, transfer turkey to a platter and discard the lettuce. Serve at once.
Reheating time will vary depending on how many pounds of turkey you are warming. Check it frequently and watch that it doesn’t goo longer than needed. All the lettuce won’t matter if you roast it far too long!
Now, are you all set for roasting a turkey or do you need my handy printable tutorial?
How are you gearing up for the holiday season?