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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Roasting the ideal Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey
Photography by Dawn Gagnon 

Thanksgiving  is a wonderful time of year to show our thanks to everyone in our family and in our lives. Having the ability to create a large delicious feast that  reminds us of how fortunate we are is a great way to
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.

Step One
Gather up your spices,  and your herbs that you will be using to flavor your bird. Make sure to have some paper towels handy.

Step Two
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.

Step Three

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.

Step Four
Truss your bird. For instructions on how to properly truss your turkey see video.

Step Five
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

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