Feed Me: hawaiian-style thanksgiving turkey.

I know Thanksgiving in over, but as DH says every year, “why don’t we cook turkey all the time?” I thought I’d share our family’s recipe for the best, most moist, melt-in-your-mouth turkey I’ve ever had!

This recipe comes from my father-in-law’s adventures in Hawaii in his young, single days. The story goes something like this: He went to visit his brother (who was in the Army and stationed on Oahu) for a few weeks and didn’t end up leaving for a few months (this was fairly normal for him…) Most of his time was spent with the local Hawaiian’s, specifically with his brother’s girlfriend’s mom. She cooked pig and goat this way and when he came back to the mainland, he decided to try it on a bird.

Since then, it’s the only way my DH’s family has cooked any bird, and now it’s the only way I’ll ever let my family cook any bird.

It’s simple and the bird literally falls to pieces when it’s finished!

Preheat oven to 350. You’ll be cooking the bird 15 minutes for every pound and rotating it four times throughout the entire process. Do the math accordingly. This was a 23 pound turkey, so we cooked it for about six hours, turning it every hour and a half. (If you need help with the math, feel free to ask in the comments below.)


sea salt


ground cloves (if you don’t like cloves, don’t worry, you can’t taste them when it’s finished!)

whole cloves

two packs of hawaiian rolls

1 can of diced, sliced, or crushed pineapple

2-3 apples, chunked (we used 2 apples and a pear this time)

After the turkey has defrosted completely (about a week in the fridge from frozen) remove all the innards from the neck and the butt. Using a sharp knife, poke holes all over, bottom and top, wings and breasts (about 2 inches apart.) Rub bird down all over with salt, pepper, and ground cloves, massaging into the holes. Poke whole cloves through the holes until it looks like a funny cactus. Alternate stuffing broken up hawaiian rolls, apple (or pear) chunks, and pineapple pieces in both the neck and the butt. Dust an oven bag with flour and put bird inside. Start breast down and place in oven for allotted time. Set a timer for when it needs to be rotated.

When the internal temperature is at or above 170 for at least 15 minutes, the bird is done! Let sit for 10-15 minutes, breast down, remove as many whole cloves as you can find and then carve. (Or just start poking it and it will come apart. Serve warm and with as many leftover ideas as you have and enjoy!

Let me know how it comes out if you ever try it!



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