This isn’t actually a chicken. It’s a sweet little itty bitty baby 7-pound turkey. How did I come into possession of a sweet little itty bitty baby 7-pound turkey? Well, let me tell you a little story…
I decided to cook all my Thanksgiving recipes last month so I could post them on the blog for you in time for T-Day. I mentioned that I needed to buy a turkey to Hooker Catlin the weekend before and she said she could get me one on post because they have wicked good prices on meat. She’s awesome like that.
SaturdaySundayMondayTuesdayWenesday flew by in a blur and still no turkey. I was at critical mass because I knew I had to defrost it in time to brine and cook it over the weekend. I called her up and she was headed to the store (whew!). Because HC is awesome and generous I knew that if I didn't tell her different she’d buy the biggest effin turkey they had. I told her that I didn't need some monster turkey and to just get something between 12-15 pounds (I was feeding about 12 people and knew that would be plenty big).
Bless her heart, she ended up having to go to three different stores and had a total fiasco getting the bird but she finally got it (because she said she would... like I said, she's awesome) and I made arrangements to pick it up from her. With the onions in tow, I met her when I got off of work to get it.
She proudly presented me with the turkey and said, “Here you go! The smallest one I could find – 7 pounds!”
In my mind I was screaming, “WHAT?!?! Who the BLEEEEEP said anything about the smallest one you could find?! How the BLEEEEEP am I going to feed a dozen people with a turkey the size of a roasting hen??!?! I’m cooking this for the blog – I can’t feature a 7-lb. BLEEPING turkey!!! It’s WEDNESDAY and I still don’t have a BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPING turkey”
But what I actually said, “Thank you!” Because I knew she’d already been through hell and back to get me the
stupid little turkey.
So…. it was now 5:45 on Wednesday and I KNEW I had to get a dang turkey tout suite or it wouldn't defrost in time and my whole weekend of cooking and entertaining would be ruined. Supper, homework and baths be damned!!
It was in a Wal-Mart bag so off I went to Wal-Mart with two cranky, hungry onions to exchange the turkey. We waited in line for 25 minutes only to find out they didn't have any turkeys. Super.
So I loaded the hungry, cranky, tired onions up and headed for Piggly Wiggly. I dragged them through the store to the meat department and practically accosted the meat manager when he told me they didn't have any turkeys yet. Are you effin KIDDING me?!
By now it was 6:45 and my only other hope was that, by some miracle, Aldi had turkeys. I knew they closed at 7:00 so I loaded the hungry, cranky, tired, whiny onions up, yet again, and took off for Aldi. And Aldi saved the day with a huge selection of Butterball turkeys!!!
So, then I ended up with two turkeys and I reeeeeally wish I’d taken a picture of the two side-by-side because I ended up getting an 18-lb monster turkey at Aldi because that was the smallest they had and it could totally have been Itty Bitty Baby Turkey’s mama. I tossed IBBT in the freezer and pulled her out this weekend to cook.
I decided to spatchcock and slow roast IBBT in a boatload of garlic and rosemary. And it was glorious!
I like to spatchcock birds when I can because they cook more evenly and I think they’re just gorgeous. Don’t tell anybody but I did this one backwards! Typically, the breasts are in the center. WHOOPS!
Rosemary Garlic Roasted Chicken
1 large (6-7 lb) roasting hen (or an itty bitty baby turkey)
1/2 cup finely chopped rosemary
4-5 whole sprigs of rosemary
1 bulb (yes, BULB) of garlic, divided
Salt & pepper to taste
Clean chicken and spatchcock or butterfly (click here for instructions). Rub the chicken with olive oil. Mince 5-6 cloves of garlic then rub the minced garlic, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper evenly all over the chicken.
Spread a little olive oil on a large baking pan. Arrange whole sprigs of rosemary in the center of the pan in an area the size of the chicken. Crush remaining cloves of garlic with the side of a chef’s knife (or by whatever means you like!) and arrange the garlic throughout the rosemary sprigs.
Place chicken on top of garlic and rosemary (tuck any exposed rosemary or garlic cloves under the chicken) and bake at 250 degrees for 3-4 hours or until skin is golden brown and crispy.
Discard rosemary sprigs and serve.