A lot of people worry about cooking a whole turkey, but there’s no reason to worry at all!
Keep a few things in mind.
1. Count your guests. If you have 12 people, get a 12-pound turkey, 15 people, get a 15-pound turkey, and so on. You get the idea!
2. If you buy a frozen instead of fresh, leave plenty of time for it to defrost (About 2 full days for a 12-pound turkey. Defrost in the fridge. That’s the safest way!!)
3. Do not, not, not forget to remove the giblets before roasting! You can discard them or save them to make gravy later.
Here’s a nice basic recipe using fresh herbs.
- 1 turkey (about 12-14 pounds)
- 1 TBS. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- a bunch of fresh thyme
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup melted margerine or butter
- 1 tsp. minced fresh sage
- 1 tsp. minced chives
- 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
- Rub the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Place several sprigs of thyme in cavity. In a large roasting pan, place onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and more thyme sprigs. Place the turkey, breast side up, over vegetables. Drizzle margerine or butter over the turkey and sprinkle with minced herbs.
- Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 325° for 2-1/2 hours. Remove foil; bake 1-1/2 to 2 hours longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180°, basting every 20 minutes.
- Cover and let stand for at least 20 minutes before carving to let the juices settle. Discard bay leaves and use the pan drippings for gravy (Wondra brand flour is great for making a nice, smooth gravy. I’ll talk about that in my next post.)