Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cooking the Turkey

I left out one VERY important part of Thanksgiving dinner - the Turkey!!!
Here's how I cook my turkey. It's one of those methods handed down from my Mom. We did not care about a brown bird for presentation (which usually is dry and tough), so we opted for roasting then carving in the kitchen. Our platter of turkey came to the table sliced and white! But, it is always tender and moist. If you want pretty, check out Ina Garten's recipes. She makes beautiful look easy.

Rule of thumb for size to buy: 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds per person IF you  want leftovers.
 If not, go with 3/4 to 1 lb per person.

Thaw the bird in the refrig. I got a 20 lb one today and it's in the refrig thawing slowly. Better to sit in the refrig thawed for a couple of days, than a frantic thaw under running cold water on Thanksgiving morning!

We use a LARGE covered roaster with rack for lifting it out.

Remove giblets, neck etc. Wash the thawed bird inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels.

Place the bird on the rack in the roaster, brush with melted butter, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Fill cavity with onions and celery - just cut into big hunks. Put the neck and giblets around the turkey (take them out after about 45 minutes and set aside for giblet gravy)

Pour 2 quarts of water or chicken broth around the bird. Cover and bake at 350 for however long it says on the package! I usually get a turkey with a pop up timer, that helps too.

When the time is up and timer pops up, twist the leg. If it moves easily, it's done. If not, cover and cook for another 30 min or so.

Dip the liquid out with a measuring cup to make the gravy. Replace the cover and let the turkey sit/set while you bake the casseroles, dressing, etc. Make the gravy, slice the turkey and you're done!
How easy is that?? Just kidding!!!
And, you can always call these folks. They are the REAL experts! (I knew the home economist who started the Turkey Talk-Line!)
Turkey Talk-Line®
Call: 1-800-288-8372
Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
CST (Central Standard Time)

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