|Now its done!|
I bought two small turkeys this year. The first one I'm preparing Cuban style.
For this 12 lb turkey I prepared a mojo (marinade)
10-12 cloves garlic
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tbsp dry oregano
2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
A store bought turkey usually brings a bag in the body cavity with the neck and giblets (check the opening on the neck, sometimes there's a bag in there as well). Remove those and rinse your turkey well with cold water.
Prepare your marinade in a bowl by mixing the above ingredients. Pour your marinade over the turkey and into the turkey, use your hand to rub the garlic on the skin. Sprinkle again with salt and paprika (if desired).
Now here's what I do. I put the turkey in a large bowl, breast side down, so that it fits slanted, and I make sure most of the marinade is inside the breast cavity. (If you lay it breast up, the mojo is just going to sit at the bottom of the pan and flavor the back) Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate 'til Thursday.
Thursday, pre-heat your oven to 325 F. Place your turkey breast side up in a roasting pan. Bake for approximately 4 hours (for 12 lbs).
The above turkey looks done, but it actually needs about one more hour to become tender. The skin is brown already so I covered the bird loosely with aluminum foil to finish cooking. I don't use thermometers, and although I usually stab the thickest part of the leg with a knife to make sure the liquid come out clear, that does not guarantee that the turkey is done. You have to taste it! I know you don't want to ruin the look of it, so steal a little slice from an inconspicuous place. If it's chewy, baste it with its drippings and put it back in the oven.
Click here for useful information on oven baking times for roasting a turkey