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~Twelve Easy Steps to the Perfect Turkey Day Turkey~

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d09c3f8f970cSo you're cooking your first turkey today.  Congratulations and worry not.  I'm sharing my uber-easy foolproof method, which I've been using since before you were probably born, and, it works great for all turkeys -- fresh (never frozen), frozen (and completely thawed) or organic, it works.  Period.  Ready?  Set?  Get your bird out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours prior to roasting (to take the chill out of it).  Before opening the package, make a note of its poundage and weight (so you can follow the timing guidelines below).  Place the bird in the sink (a lot of juices are going to ooze out), carefully open the package, and, remember to remove the giblets from the cavities.  



20 minutes per pound for small birds up to 8 pounds

15 minutes per pound for medium birds 8-16 pounds

13 minutes per pound for large birds 16-20 pounds

11 minutes per pound for extra-large birds 20-22 pounds

10 minutes per pound for huge birds over 22 pounds

Begin timing the bird the moment it goes into the 350 ° oven.

The best test for doneness is an instant-read meat thermometer placed in the breast and then the leg-thigh portion.  Remove from the oven when meat has reached an internal temperature between 160-165 degrees.  I like to remove mine at 160 degrees.  Carry-over heat will continue to cook the bird during the resting process. 


Insert a rack in a large roasting pan (disposable pans are great) -- add 6 cups chicken stock (to render lots of drippings for gravy):

IMG_7309Remove neck and giblets from cavities (reserve those for gravy) -- place bird, breast side up, on center of rack.

IMG_7313In breast cavity, stuff the following: 5-6 rosemary sprigs...

IMG_7315... 3-4 celery stalks...

IMG_7318... 1 small sweet onion...

IMG_7319... 1 small tart apple (these aromatics exude flavor and moisture).

IMG_7325Sprinkle or grind salt and pepper evenly over all.

IMG_7333Out of aluminum foil, fashion a protective shield for the breast:

IMG_7336Place turkey on lowest rack of 350° oven.

IMG_7337When breast turns light brown (after about 20-30 minutes):

IMG_7340Place the protective shield atop the tender breast meat:

IMG_7344Remove from oven, tightly seal the entire pan with aluminum foil -- rest 45 minutes prior to carving and using dripping to make gravy:

IMG_7347"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2021)


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