What kind of Thanksgiving meal would it be for a dieting fanatic a dinner without all-American staple food? These two keto-friendly Thanksgiving turkey recipes will leave plenty delicious leftovers for the days to come.
Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey
Low-carb or not, most new-ish cooks will be searching for instructions on how to oven-roast a turkey this Thanksgiving. Of course, you’ll want your bird to be thoroughly cooked, but also as tender and juicy as possible.
To start, if your turkey was purchased frozen, then you’ll need to get started with thawing a few days in advance. Hopefully if you’re reading this, you’ve planned ahead.
To thaw a frozen turkey, set the bird breast-side up in a large pan in the refrigerator. The pan is important because you don’t want the meat drippings to spill. The thaw rate is one day for every 4 pounds. So if your turkey weighs 18 lbs. then you need to start thawing it 5 days before Thanksgiving. Once the turkey is defrosted, cook it within 4 days to play it safe from food-borne illness.
One way to speed up the process of thawing your turkey is to submerge the frozen bird entirely in a tub or sink of cold water. Wrap the packaged turkey in a sealed plastic bag and place in the receptacle, then cover completely. Change the water every half-hour. You can expect the turkey to take about half as long to thaw as it would if you had set it, frozen, in the refrigerator.
- One 18-lb. turkey, thawed
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 Tbs. or so of homemade poultry seasoning mix: sage, rosemary, allspice, salt, pepper
Begin by making plenty of room in your oven for this giant bird. To do this, you may need to move the lowest rack as far down as it will go, and place the highest rack as far away as possible. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Portion out butter and let stand so that it becomes soft enough to handle. Remove giblets from the turkey cavity. Rinse out the bird and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large roasting pan, you can use a rack if you have one. Combine ingredients for your poultry spice mix. Coat the turkey thoroughly with butter and spices.
If you plan to stuff the turkey, place some stuffing loosely inside of the cavity. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together so that the stuffing stays inside of the bird.
Add about 2 cups of water to the bottom of the pan and tent the turkey with tin foil. Place in oven to roast for about 13 minutes per pound, which is somewhere between 3 and 4 hours if your bird weights 18 pounds. Every half hour, baste the turkey with its own juices, adding more water as it evaporates. After 3 hours of cooking, remove the foil so that the bird can brown on the outside.
A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast will help you avoid overcooking your turkey. When the temperature reaches 165 degrees, your turkey is fully cooked. Remove from oven, tent with foil, and let rest for about 20 minutes before carving and plating to serve.
Smoked Turkey Breast With Bacon
Low-carb eaters might love themselves some drumsticks… but if you’re doing Thanksgiving for a small group this year, a smoked turkey breast might just be the way to go. The general temperature and cooking time will be 225 degrees for about 4 hours, assuming that your turkey breast will weigh about 6 pounds which is average.
- 1 turkey breast, about 6 lbs.
- 1 package bacon, cooked to fatty but not crisp (so it stays flexible)
Place your turkey breast on a tin pan in the smoker. Set the temperature to 225. Add in a few chunks of apple wood to give it that sweet, smoky flavor. Let the turkey smoke for about 3 to 4 hours. Use a thermometer to determine when the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees.
Remove from the smoker and let rest, tented with foil, for about 20 minutes. Decorate with bacon strips before serving.