The Co-dependent's Lazy Turkey

20 November 2016 Written by 

After years of going to any length to please my Thanksgiving guests and resenting it when their compliments didn't fill my need for constant affirmation, I found a better way. I needed compliments, and I needed them bad. So I invited 40+ people to my home for a Thanksgiving extravaganza. For weeks, I cleaned, decorated, and baked. Place settings, centerpieces, sides. Of course, I refused any help; those compliments were MINE.

Then like a ravenous animal, I feasted. “Your house is so lovely.” “This turkey is delicious.” “How did you manage to pull all this off?” “It must have taken hours.”

Following a cycle similar to one of addiction, I tried harder, year after year, to chase the high of affirmations, but it was never enough. I was exhausted, resentful, and unsatisfied. Finally, after months of recovery, I see the motive behind my madness; I was starving for love.

Last week, I bought another 13+ pound turkey, but I didn’t use it as bait for compliments. I skipped the brining and massaging, and I made the laziest turkey known to man for my family of THREE. They loved it, and I wasn’t disappointed with fleeting compliments that only left me hungry for more.

The Co-dependent’s Lazy Turkey


  • 1 Turkey
  • 1 Roasting pan
  • Salt and pepper
  • Aluminum foil

If the turkey is frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, depending on size. I let my turkey thaw in my roasting pan. On baking day, I cut the plastic open and let the turkey slide out of the wrapping into the pan. I didn’t rinse the turkey. I didn’t grease the pan. I removed the giblets and threw them away. My turkey’s neck was MIA, and I didn’t waste any time looking for it. I salted and peppered the bird. I covered it with foil and put it in the oven. I set my oven to 215 degrees F, and I went to work. The goal is to cook the bird low and slow.

The Results

When I got home eight hours later, the turkey was done and bathing in a delicious protein-rich broth. The skin was a pasty beige, and the meat was a little dry, so I drizzled mine with the broth. Eight hours was too long, but that worked for me, and my family thought it was the best turkey we’ve ever had.

3 Easy Tips For A Better Bird

  1. Bake the turkey at 425 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until the skin is brown and crispy. Then reduce the oven temperature to 215 or lower. Next time, I’m going to try 185.
  2. Bake the turkey when you’re home so you can check for doneness. It probably only needed to bake for four to six hours. The turkey is done when a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F in the thigh, 170 in the breast and 165 in the stuffing.
  3. Rub the turkey with an equally lazy herbed butter - put 1 stick of butter, salt, pepper, fresh rosemary, sage, and 2 cloves of garlic into a food processor. Pulse until smooth. For extra flavor, shove some of the butter under the turkey’s skin.

A turkey this size feeds approximately 10 people. If your family isn’t into leftovers, consider freezing half of the meat and broth for an even lazier turkey dinner in the near future.

Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: Pam Carver

Read 4422 times Last modified on Thursday, 08 December 2016 20:36
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Pam Carver

In my family of origin, three of us are in treatment for codependency, drugs, and/or alcohol abuse. Two of us are in denial about the devastating effects codependency, drugs, and alcohol have had on our family. None of us are talking about it. I’m the codependent one on a quest for healthy living through love and boundaries. My journey started in Celebrate Recovery. I have much to learn and practice. I live with my wonderful husband, amazing son, and pseudo-therapy beagle, Spot. I enjoy long walks on the beach and writing about the life-changing principles I’m learning in the rooms of recovery.
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