|Photography by Dawn Gagnon|
Illustrate the point. We all know the Thanksgiving Turkey is the star of the show on Thanksgiving, and it is important that this delicious centerpiece be cooked to perfection.
Gather up your spices, and your herbs that you will be using to flavor your bird. Make sure to have some paper towels handy.
Rinse your turkey off with cold water thoroughly and dry it well. If you fail to do this you will not have the
Ideal crispy and golden exterior to the turkey that we all love to see on the table.
Take your hands, if you plan on using herbs, and separate the skin from the breast meat. Place a variety of herbs and spices mixed in butter and spread between the skin and the breast meat. I often use a mixture of poultry seasonings, garlic pieces and salt and pepper. Rub and disperse your herbs and garlic . Sprinkle salt and pepper on the inside of the turkey cavity as well. On the outside of your bird, cover with Olive oil or melted butter liberally on all sides of the bird.
Truss your bird. For instructions on how to properly truss your turkey see video.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and roast for the first 15 to 20 minutes at this temperature. After that, turn the temperature of your oven down to 350 for the remaining amount of time. This will give your bird the ideal golden roasted skin.
The proper times for cooking a turkey is :
8 lbs. -2.75 hours without stuffing
3.00 hours with stuffing
12 lbs.-3.00 hours w/o stuffing
3.50 hours with stuffing
14 lbs.-3.75 hours w/o stuffing
4.00 hours with stuffing
18 lbs.-4.25 hours w/o stuffing
4.50 hours with stuffing
20 lbs.-4.50 hours w/o stuffing
4.75 hours with stuffing
24 lbs.-5.00 hours w/o stuffing
5.25 hours with stuffing