The wife and I decided we were going to host thanksgiving this year. Originally, it was only going to be a handful of people, but I wanted lots of leftovers, so I talked her into a 20lb turkey (last time we hosted we had no leftovers, they all got taken with other people). Then the guest list grew, so I'm glad I erred on the side of abundance.
A couple of years ago when we hosted Thanksgiving, I cooked the turkey in the oven, and we had just enough room to leave a second rack in to cook other items on. This year, and in a new house, we were looking up and down at the oven and wondering how everything was going to fit. We decided to buy a three tier rack online to add a bit of space, and thought ourselves geniuses. The rack arrives, I assemble it, and pup it in the oven for sizing. I grab my handy roasting pan.. and.. oh no. They don't fit side by side. The roasting pan is a couple of inches too big. We him and haw over solutions like trying to find a narrower roasting pan. But then my wife mentions that a coworker suggested to her a roaster over. We start looking, and this thing sounds like the ticket. We find a store near by that was having a sale on one and snag an Oster 18-qt roaster over that boasts room for up to a 22lb turkey for only $25. Dang, what a deal. Again, we label ourselves geniuses.
So today, after getting the roaster home late last night, I pop the bird in for size reference, just to be careful, because I believe you never really can be *too* over prepared. And.. with the bird in there, the dang lid sticks up about an inch and a half. You have got to be kidding me.
So I have a couple of questions that I was hoping more seasoned Thanksgiving hosts might help me with. It occurs to me that the bird could have been compressed when frozen - has anyone ever experienced settling once the bird has thawed? I ask because this bird seems to be taller than it is wide, which seems just a bit odd to me, almost like it was squeezed in-between other birds before freezing. Does anyone have any other solutions that we geniuses might be overlooking? (I, of course, use the term geniuses with mild sarcasm).
If all else fails, we do have a final backup plan. My mother-in-law lives right around the corner, about a block away. I am convinced that all of the side could be cooked in the time the turkey is resting (our oven has three racks, and we can fit 2 9x13 pans on each rack, and we really only have 4 side dishes that need the oven), but my wife is more apprehensive about that timing. So as a backup, we realized we could use her oven to cook some of the longer-cooking sides if we needed to.
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