The ability to roast a turkey is a skill that every adult should have and use. Don’t worry though, it’s much easier than it seems, and if you’re careful, you will end up with a beautiful bird.
To begin, you will have to purchase the turkey. To make sure that you choose the right turkey, you are going need to determine how many people you are cooking for. Remember that an eight to twelve pound turkey will provide about twelve to fourteen servings. Since this is the size most commonly used, we will assume that is what you are going to cook. You will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly for a larger or smaller turkey.
Following the packaging instructions for thawing is important, because you can’t always tell if a turkey is totally thawed on the inside before you remove the plastic covering. If you realize that your turkey is still frozen, fill the sink with hot water and place the wrapped turkey inside for awhile. This will finish thawing the bird for you.
Once you are finished thawing the turkey, unwrap it, and then carefully clean the inside and the outside with hot water. You will need to remove the giblets. These can be thrown away, or cooked. If cooking them, place the giblets in boiling water for one hour, making sure they are tender. After cooking, chop them into very fine pieces and set them aside.
Carefully rip three quarters of a loaf of white bread into small squares and place them in a large mixing bowl. Next, chop three stalks of celery and one medium onion into fine pieces. Add these and the chopped, cooked giblets into the bowl with the bread. Add a tablespoon of poultry seasoning to the mix, and stir. Once all of your ingredients are mixed well, add a quarter cup of water. Now, discard your spoon, and knead the mixture with your hands. This will ensure that the seasoning is throughout your stuffing. When finished, spoon the stuffing into the turkey loosely. If the fit is too tight, the bird won’t close.
Tie the legs with kitchen string, and rub the outside of the bird with poultry seasoning and sage. Place the turkey in the pan, taking care to not let the legs come untied. You should then place the bird into a 325 degree oven. You are going to roast this turkey for two hours and forty-five minutes. Every fifteen to thirty minutes, you are going to want to baste the turkey. After basting, you will need to take a stick of butter and lightly rub it over the entire turkey, taking care to butter and crevices. This will help the outside stay moist, as well as brown the skin.
During the last forty-five minutes of roasting, cut the string holding the legs together This allows for more even cooking of the drumsticks. Regardless of appearance, the turkey isn’t completely cooked until the temperature at the middle of the stuffing reaches 165 degrees, and the temperature of the meat is 180 degrees. Making sure you test several times should eliminate any danger of consuming undercooked poultry,
Now that the turkey is cooked, scoop the stuffing into a dish and set aside. Place the turkey on a platter for carving, and return to the pan that you cooked it in. If you have been buttering your turkey when you baste, you will find that the drippings contain a large amount of melted butter. These make an excellent gravy. Simply add small amounts of flour until you reach the desired consistency for your gravy. Once you have, use an electric mixer to ensure that you don’t leave clumps of flour in your gravy.
Now you know that roasting a turkey isn’t as difficult as it seems, and that anyone can do it, so go buy yourself a bird and make your family or friends a dinner that they won’t soon forget!