Turning out great meals aboard a boat, even a Thanksgiving spread, isn’t as much of an impossibility as you might think. With a little creativity and some careful planning, cooking a nice dinner in your galley is actually quite do-able!
Cooking on a boat is, of course, quite different from cooking in a traditional kitchen. There are a number of things you’ll have to deal with – limited space and supplies, lack of electrical appliances, limited water, a rocking boat, etc. With these things in mind, we have put together a recipe for cooking a traditional Thanksgiving turkey in your galley.
It’s Not Called “Turkey” Day for Nothin’!
Most galleys come equipped with a couple of burners on the stove, and a some even have a microwave oven or conventional oven. No oven on-board? No problem! The best way that we’ve found to cook a turkey in your galley is with a Dutch oven on your stove top. Using this method, your turkey will come out moist and succulent in just an hour or two.
Here’s How to Bake a Turkey in Your Galley Using a Dutch Oven:
- Dutch oven (at least 12″ in diameter)
- Stove gimbals and pot restraints (installing these are helpful for keeping your stove top oven level in a rocking boat)
- A whole turkey, as big as will fit in your Dutch oven
- A stick of butter
- A blend of dried herbs (rosemary, sage, and thyme are most traditional, but you can be creative here, adding spices like paprika, cumin and curry, if you want)
- A few bay leaves (2-3)
- A whole large onion, quartered
- 10-12 peeled garlic cloves
- 1 box chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
Preparing the Turkey:
– remove the innards from the cavity of the turkey (turkey should be fully thawed)
– rinse the bird and pat dry with paper towels
– stuff the cavity of the turkey with your garlic cloves and quartered onion
– on each side, cut a slit in the skin of the breast meat, and slide in some squares of butter
– cover the outside of the turkey with half of the remaining stick of butter
– sprinkle all over with salt and pepper
– rub your turkey with your dried herb blend
Baking the Bird:
- Put your Dutch oven on the stove top with the lid on, and turn on the heat until it gets hot – you’re aiming for about 450 degrees.
- Once your oven is hot, remove the lid, and add in the chicken broth, bay leaves, and remaining butter.
- Place your turkey inside the Dutch oven, upside-down (breast down) on top of the liquid.
- Put the lid back on and turn the heat way down. You want your turkey to bake at around 350 degrees.
- Plan to bake your turkey for about 7 minutes per pound (For Example: If you’re cooking a 12 pound turkey, you’d let it go for around 84 minutes (7 x 12).).
- Basting is not necessary in this recipe, as the covered oven retains a moist atmosphere, locking in juices and flavor.
- Check the temperature around 20 minutes before you figure it’ll be done, and remove it when the breast reaches 165 degrees. Dark meat will need to be a little warmer (around 185 degrees).
Carefully flip your cooked turkey over, carve, and present your spread of holiday meat on a platter.
Pro Tip: If you have some flour or cornstarch and a saucepan handy, you can use the turkey drippings to make a delicious gravy! For more “boat friendly” recipes to pair with your turkey, check out The Boat Galley‘s “Thanksgiving on a Boat” page.
“Enjoy your turkey dinner, and best wishes to you and yours this holiday season!”
– The Harbortown Crew & Staff
Harbortown Marina is a full service marina located just 2.5 miles west of Port Canaveral, Florida, between the Indian and Banana rivers. With the lowest fuel prices on the Space Coast (customers get an additional 10 cents off per gallon), updated amenities, dog run area, and all-new resident recreation area, The Family Spot, Harbortown is the ideal spot to store your boat near Port Canaveral. Check out the Top 10 Reasons to Stay at Harbortown, or visit our Current Specials page to see our current offers.