to prepare the perfect turkey:
If turkey is frozen,
thaw in the refrigerator or cold water.
Preheat the oven to 325°
Remove the neck and
the giblets from inside.
Run cold water in bird, drain,
and blot dry with paper towels.
Just before roasting, stuff
if you are planning to cook your stuffing inside the bird.
Turn the wings back to hold
the neck skin in place.
Return legs to tucked position
Place the turkey, breast
side up, on a flat rack in an open roasting pan about 2 inches deep.
Insert meat thermometer
deep into the lower part of the thigh next to the body, not touching the
Brush the skin with vegetable
oil or butter to prevent skin from drying.
Roast, when the skin is light
golden, about 2/3 done, shield the breast loosely with lightweight foil
to prevent overcooking.
Check for doneness
1/2 hour before turkey is expected to be done. Turkey is fully cooked when
the thigh's internal temperature is 180 ° F. The thickest part of breast
should read 170° F and the center of the stuffing should be 160°
When done, let the turkey
stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving
To Thaw a Turkey?
First choice is in the refrigerator,
breast side up, allowing 1 day for every 4 pounds. Bird is good for up
to 4 days after being thawed.
However if things are running
a little behind, dump it in the sink with cold water, breast side down.
Change water every 30 minutes. Allow 30 minutes per pound.
If you are running noticeable
behind and need your kitchen sink, do what I did, dump it in the bath tub.
Again breast side down, change water every 30 to 45 minutes. Allow 30 minutes
Disaster lurking - Nuke it
at 30% power. Allow 7 to 8 minutes per pound
Total Disaster - only hours
until serving time, cook the darn thing frozen.
What ever you do DON'T thaw
it on the counter. This can allow bacterial growth, in plain English food
Thawed or fresh turkey in
a refrigerator, until ready to roast.
Trivia - How to void getting sick from your bird
|6 to 8 pounds
||3 to 3 1/2 hours
|8 to 12 pounds
||3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours
|12 to 16 pounds
||4 to 5 hours
|16 to 20 pounds
||4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours
|20 to 24 pounds
||5 to 6 1/2 hours
Turkey is considered to be poultry,
just like chicken before it's cooked can cause great illness!!
Prepare stuffing just before
time to start roasting. Use only cooked ingredients in stuffing. Vegetables
should be sautéed, meats or seafoods (like oysters) should
be fully cooked. Use pasteurized egg products instead of raw eggs. Place
stuffing in turkey just before roasting. Do not stuff the turkey the night
Don't over stuff the turkey.
Allow 3/4 cup or less of stuffing per pound of turkey.
Never stuff a turkey that is
going to be roasted/cooked any where other than an oven.
Place raw poultry on non-porous
surfaces; that are easy to clean. Avoid wooden cutting boards.
Use paper towels, to dry off
turkey and wipe up juices.
Wash hands, work surfaces and
utensils touched by raw poultry and its juices with hot, soapy water.
Use cooking methods that allow
the turkey to reach an internal temperature of 140° F. in less than
four hours. Avoid using low roasting temperatures or partial cooking methods.
Store turkey, stuffing, gravy,
broth and other left-over cooked foods properly within two hours after
Turkey should be removed from
the bones, before placing in refrigerator or freezer
Left overs that won't be eaten
with in 3 days should be frozen. (Stuffing should be eaten with in a month,
and turkey with in 2 months)
Basting while baking won't
make the bird any juicer. The juice only penetrates about a 1/4 of
an inch beneath the skin and most of the juice will run off into the pan.
Emergencies - Only hours to go and no bird
Don't laugh too hard, I know
of real cases for each of these disasters.
The perfect turkey was kidnapped
by the dog.
You just found out that hubby
invited people over for Dinner, and you thought you were eating at the
The oven just went wild and
your bird looks like charcoal.
The oven has decided to it wants
the day off, and refuses to heat.
You forgot to turn on the oven.
Here is your step by step
If you are lucky enough to have
a raw bird, you have a great start!
If you don't, call a couple
of grocery stores as rule some of the larger stores are open Thanksgiving
Shop in this order: fresh turkey
(14 lb or less), frozen turkey (14 lb or less), turkey parts (breast, legs,
wings), a couple of large fat fresh chickens, frozen chickens
If your bird is frozen, Place
bird in a large dish, and thaw in microwave at 30% power allowing 7 to
8 minutes per pound. Once wing tips, ends of legs, and breast have
thawed shield with foil. When bird is about half way thawed flip him over.
If your conventional oven is
working, do the first half of the baking in the microwave and the last
half in the oven. No one will be able to tell the difference. (been there,
If your conventional oven has
died, you will need to nuke him. Don't worry he will still be tasty and
Remove giblets, neck and any
metal pieces, place a plastic rack in baking dish. If you don't have one
use a microwave safe plate turned upside down. The idea is to keep the
bird from sitting in the juices.
Return to bird to baking dish,
breast side down. Cover with waxed paper.
Place in microwave, be sure
that there is at least 1 inch between the bird and the microwave on all
Cook at 70% power, figuring
on 7 1/2 minutes per pound.
At the half way mark, remove
bird and turn over (breast side up) if you will be finishing him in the
microwave. And brush on sauce.
If your conventional oven is
working, place him in a roaster, and finish baking as you normally would.
If you microwave has a temperature
probe, place in thickest part of thigh, not touching bones. Set for 170
F. Continue cooking at 70% power.
Cover bird with foil and allow
to stand for 15 minutes
Basic Browning Sauce
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon commercial brown
3/4 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients,
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup orange juice
Combine all ingredients,
Call the "Turkey Talk-Line"
I would hate to even try
to guess at how many turkey dinner they have rescued. ;-)