Hopefully, you have your turkey thawed by now. If not, you might want to rethink your Holiday dinner and fix a meatloaf.
The safest way to thaw is in the refrigerator. Your turkey should come with instructions so please read them.
The amount of time the turkey cooks depends on the weight.
A meat thermometer is an absolute must ( unless you have a turkey with a *pop-up*. Interior breast meat should be 170* and 180* for thigh meat.
Thoroughly rinse your turkey…remove any remaining feathers and please remember to remove those little bags in the neck and behind of the turkey! Rinse inside and out!
I quit stuffing our turkey years ago for safety reasons. If you want to add extra flavor, chop up some onion, a few carrots and couple of stalks of celery and place inside turkey cavities. Salt and pepper the inside of the turkey before placing inside, though. Discard all the above after turkey is done…do not eat! If you make stuffing, simply bake it as a side dish.
If you follow directions that come with your turkey you should do fine. However, I have done my Holiday turkey dinner differently for over thirty years if you want to give it a try.
I cook my turkey upside down! Ok…sounds strange and looks a bit odd, but this method produces extra moist turkey meat.
I loosen the skin on the breast just enough to salt, pepper and toss a dash or two of rosemary, thyme and sage on it, then press the skin back down and salt and pepper the entire turkey.
Line your pan with enough tin foil to cover turkey and place upside down in a hot oven ( preheat to at least 450*, then turn down heat to cooking temp once turkey is placed in oven.
About a half hour before it’s done, I flip the turkey over and finish cooking uncovered. This browns the top somewhat, but not completely. As I said, it looks a bit odd, but no one will complain of dry turkey meat!
I use two large forks to turn the turkey, and sometimes ask for an extra set of hands, depending on the weight.
Keep in mind that you want to clean all areas the raw turkey has been due to contamination. Food poisoning can ruin a person’s day!
How to cook a turkey is up to you…just try not to be intimidated and enjoy your Holiday!
Click here for how to make stuffing.
Click here to see cooking times chart.