THANKSGIVING TURKEY - HOLIDAY TURKEY - HOW TO ROAST A TURKEY - TURKEY DINNERS - CARVING TURKEYS - CARVING TURKEY - DECORATING TIPS - HOLIDAY DECORATING TIPS - CHRISTMAS TURKEY
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How to Roast a Thanksgiving Turkey

 It's really not all that difficult to roast a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey and have it come out just right. While I'm no gourmet cook, here's a basic recipe that should do the trick.

Begin with buying a turkey that is large enough to serve the number of guests you will have. I also like to stuff mine with dressing because I want the flavor of the meat juices to penetrate the dressing. But you are limited to the amount of stuffing you can get in a turkey, so if you need extra, you'll have to bake it in a separate pan.

For purpose of this instruction, let's buy a 12-14 pound turkey. Be sure to thaw it in advance of preparation if you buy a frozen one. You'll also need some butter, salt and pepper and your stuffing mix.

  • Preheat your oven to 325-350 degrees F.
  • Take the turkey out of it's wrapping. Remove the giblets and the neck from inside the turkey's breast cavity. Set these aside to use later for gravy.
  • Rinse the turkey, both inside and outside, with cold water before you prepare it. Pat it dry with paper towels or leave damp.
  • Place your oven rack on the lowest possible level in the oven.
  • Stuff the turkey with the dressing. You can buy metal skewers to help you close up the cavity so the dressing will not fall out.
  • I like to buy those very large plastic bags made for roasting turkeys or chickens. They speed up the inner cooking of the turkey while helping to keep your oven clean.
  • Dab the top of the turkey with slices of butter and be sure to salt and pepper it good, both inside and outside.
  • Place the turkey breast side up in the large plastic bag. Tie the bag shut and pierce it in several places on top to let out steam while the turkey is roasting.
  • I like my turkey breast meat dry and so does my family. So I bake mine for 30 minutes for every pound at about 350 degrees. Oven temperatures will vary, so this is not a hard, fast tip. If you like your meat juicy, bake the turkey for a shorter period of time.
  • You can purchase a meat thermometer too. Insert it into the thickest part of the thigh and bake until the thermometer says 175-180 degrees F.
  • Most people will bake a turkey for 10-12 minutes per pound if it is not stuffed; 12-15 minutes per pound if it is stuffed. I'm just rebellious, I guess.
  • Technically you shouldn't cover a turkey (or any roasting meat, for that matter). You'll want the outer skin to take on a deep brown color all over and you don't want it to steam in it's own juices. But with larger birds, it's easy for the turkey to brown too soon. If that happens, cover the turkey lightly with aluminum foil on top, but allow plenty of open places for steam to escape.
  • Some people will buy two large aluminum roasting pans. They put the turkey in one pan and follow the directions above. They use the 2nd pan to sit on top of the turkey while it is baking to prevent it from browing too soon. You can buy cheap roasting pans at your grocery store or even at the $1.00 stores.

Quick Links

How to Make Thanksgiving Decorations
How to Make a Thanksgiving Cornucopia
Decorating the Children's Thanksgiving Table
Decorating Elegant Christmas Trees
How to Buy a Turkey
How to Carve a Turkey
Decorating Wreaths and Trees



THANKSGIVING TURKEY - HOLIDAY TURKEY - HOW TO ROAST A TURKEY - TURKEY DINNERS - CARVING TURKEYS - CARVING TURKEY - DECORATING TIPS - HOLIDAY DECORATING TIPS - CHRISTMAS TURKEY

 

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