Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TOGETHER IN THE KITCHEN-- Step-By-Step to a Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

It's the star of the show on Thanksgiving, and for most of us we can't imagine a Thanksgiving dinner without it. But, many of us are intimidated by that big bird, and think bringing a beautifully brown, moist turkey to the table is only for the experienced cook. Not so! Roasting the perfect Thanksgiving turkey is actually really simple! I've been using the following recipe for years, and my turkey comes out golden brown, moist and delicious every time!

1 turkey (12-14 pounds gross weight)
2 cups kosher salt or 1 1/2 cups table salt
1/2 stick of butter

Large pot or bucket
Roasting pan with rack
Meat thermometer

1) Empty cavity of turkey, removing neck and giblets.
2) Place your (completely defrosted) turkey in a large pot or clean bucket large enough to hold it. Add salt and 2 gallons of cold water to cover the turkey completely, rubbing salt into bird and stirring water until salt dissolves. Set in the refrigerator, (temperature should be no higher than 40 degrees) for 10-12 hours.

3) Prepare the stuffing of your choice. Allow stuffing to cool completely.
4) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5) Remove turkey from salt water and rinse cavity and skin under cool running water for several minutes until all traces of salt are gone. (Make sure you carefully dispose of the salt water to keep bacteria from spreading).
6) After rinsing turkey thoroughly, pat dry with a paper towel.
7) Stuff turkey. Bring turkey legs together and truss. (Any extra stuffing place in casserole dish, cover with foil and refrigerate to cook during the last 45 minutes of cooking time of turkey).
8) Rub entire turkey with butter. Bend wings, tucking them under neck cavity. 
9)  Place turkey (breast side up) in roasting pan with rack in the bottom to keep bird from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan. Put foil over the breast to keep from breast from over browning. Remove foil from breast half way through cooking time to allow for browning. 
10) Cook until meat thermometer stuck in leg pit registers 180-185 degrees and internal temperature of stuffing registers no lower than 165 degrees, for a 12-14 pound turkey approx. 3 1/2 to 4 hours. (For a larger bird, you'll have to adjust the cooking time. Click on the USDA link below for cooking times).
11) When turkey is done, transfer to a platter and allow to rest (under foil to keep warm) for 20 minutes. While the turkey rests, make your gravy.


For more information, here are some helpful links and phone numbers:


Butterball Turkey Hotline:

No comments:

Post a Comment