Lets Talk Turkey-
Most of us are preparing for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. So today “Lets Talk Turkey”. For some it may be the first year you are undertaking the big family holiday meal. For others this may be something you are already familiar with. Either way I hope you will find this useful.
Selecting the turkey can sometimes be intimidating, trying to guess the best size and how long to thaw and cook, etc. I buy organic, antibiotic free and certified organic by the USDA.
I follow these standard rules-
• For each serving you need about 1-2 lbs. I stick with the 2 lb. rule so we always have leftovers.
• Thawing time in the fridge -24 hours for every 4 lbs. Keep the turkey in the wrapping it comes in and place the turkey breast side up on a tray or large platter.
• If you plan to thaw it in cold water, 1 hour for every 2 lbs. Instead of thawing in the sink try using a plastic wash basin from the dollar store like I used HERE. Keep the turkey in the wrapper it came in and place breast side down in the cold water. Make sure you change the water about every 30 minutes.
• When the turkey is thawed remove the giblets from inside the bird. Someone told me that they cooked their turkey with the giblet bag inside the bird by accident! I assure you it made the turkey taste “fowl” (giggle) .
• Cooking time -for an unstuffed turkey varies from 1 ½ to 2 hours for every 4 lbs. Every oven is a little different. Please use a meat thermometer to assure your turkey is fully cooked. Place the meat thermometer into the thigh of the turkey and make sure it registers 160°
• I prefer to cook unstuffed. I make the stuffing separately. But if you prefer your turkey to be stuffed it is very important that you stuff the turkey with pre-cooked stuffing. Stuff your turkey just before cooking. Stuff both the neck and body cavities loosely. When yuou check the cooking temperature of the turkey make sure that a meat thermometer reads 165° when poked into the center of the stuffing too.
Time to cook- My cooking method is super easy, I always put butter (margarine) under the skin of the turkey (I do it with chicken too). I place a rosemary and thyme bundle inside the turkey and add crushed black pepper to the outside of the turkey. I used to put half of an onion inside too. But now I put 3 peeled garlic cloves inside instead (migraine safe cooking). I start basting the turkey after about 45 minutes of cooking. Patience and basting always seem to do the trick for a nice flavor. I baste every 45 minutes until it is finished cooking.I sometimes have to make an aluminum foil tent (loose cover of foil all over the bird) if the skin starts to get to dark. I prefer it to have a nice light brown/golden color.
Let your turkey rest before you serve it (about 15 minutes before carving). After serving don’t leave your turkey out more than one hour. Carve it and put the leftovers in the refrigerator. Store the turkey and the stuffing separately. For your leftovers always stick to the three day rule. 🙂
I hope these “Lets Talk Turkey” tips will come in handy for your holiday cooking.
If you have any questions please contact me or leave your questions in the comment section, you know I love comments. ♥