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The Perfect Bird – Stress Free Turkey

ARE YOU HAVING THANKSGIVING DINNER IN YOUR NEW HOME THIS YEAR?

You’ve just settled into your new home. Thanksgiving is a perfect time gather with family and showcase your new space. Moving in may have left you feeling worn out, but you can still pull off a spectacular Thanksgiving dinner.

Here is an easy recipe to make a Thanksgiving turkey that is extra juicy and perfectly golden? This easy turkey recipe pretty much guarantees perfectly moist and flavorful Turkey for your Thanksgiving table.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO THAW A TURKEY?

The first step when cooking a turkey is thawing turkey that is frozen. Of course, if you buy a fresh turkey, you can skip this step!

The easiest (and safest) way to thaw a turkey is in the fridge, however you can thaw it in cold water quicker if need be.

How long to thaw a turkey in the fridge: A fully frozen turkey will require 24 hours of thawing time for every 5 pounds in a refrigerator set at about 40° F. For a 20 pound turkey, it will take 4 days.

How to thaw a turkey quickly in the sink: Place turkey in your sink and fill with cold water. Drain and refill sink with cold water every 30 minutes to ensure your Turkey stays in the safe zone for bacteria. This method requires about 30 minutes per pound of Turkey. A 20 pound turkey will take approximately 10 hours.

TURKEY BRINE: YAY OR NAY?
Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the effort.

TOOLS YOU’LL NEED TO ROAST A TURKEY

  • Cooking Twine to tie turkey legs together
  • Roasting Pan with rack
  • Foil
  • Meat thermometer that you can leave in while cooking
  • Paper towels
  • Latex Gloves

PREPPING A TURKEY FOR ROASTING

After rinsing your turkey, you will want to remove any extra water and pat it dry with disposable paper towels.

Then we will fill the turkeys cavities with aromatics. I use a combination of apples, oranges, lemon, onion and herbs.

I know, you are probably shaking your head right now because you want to stuff the inside of this bird with stuffing.

However, if you want your turkey to be perfectly juicy and roasted to golden perfection, then we need to go with the aromatics and make the stuffing/dressing separately.

To ensure that the stuffing/dressing reaches the proper temperature for safe eating (remember, that bread is touching the inside of a raw turkey!) you have to overcook the outside (the meat!) of the turkey. No one wants dry turkey!

So once we have our aromatics all stuffed inside, we will get the outside of the turkey ready.

You will need to tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Then using your hands, rub canola oil and seasonings UNDER the skin of the turkey — you will have to separate the skin from the turkey meat.

I personally wear thin latex gloves when I do this step. This works best if you have someone pouring the oil and seasonings into your hands as you do this step.

Lastly, we add squares of butter all over the turkey in between the skin and meat. The butter melts into the meat of the turkey as it roasts!

HOW TO COOK A TURKEY
Now that you have prepped your turkey (as described above) it’s time to cook it! Now here’s what you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 500°F.
  • Make a shield. Before you place the turkey into the oven, you will want to form a protective breast plate out of aluminum foil that we will place over the turkey’s breast while it finishes roasting. To form the foil, I take a large piece and fold it into a triangle large enough to fold over and cover the breast of the turkey. You do not want to cover the wings or the legs — just the breast.
  • Roast on the lowest rack. Place the turkey on the lowest level of the oven and cook it at 500°F for 30 minutes.
  • Lower temperature. After 30 minutes, we will drop the temperature of the oven to 350°F and lightly cover the breast of the turkey with the prepared foil to protect the breast from becoming over cooked and dry.
  • Add meat thermometer. At this time we will also insert the necessary meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. I just stab right through the foil breast cover to insert the meat thermometer.
  • Set the meat thermometer alarm to 162°F. Once that temperature is reached, remove the turkey and loosely tent the entire turkey with foil.
  • Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving. The turkey will continue to cook while covered loosely with foil and will reach the safety temperature point of 165°F. Then carve the turkey and serve!

WHAT IS THE BEST TEMPERATURE FOR COOKING A TURKEY?

This roast turkey recipe starts at a very high 500°F for the oil to do its’ magic and get the turkey’s skin perfectly crispy and golden brown. After 30 minutes, we will drop the temperature of the oven to 350°F and lightly cover the breast of the turkey with the prepared foil to protect the breast from becoming over cooked and dry.

HOW LONG TO COOK A TURKEY

  • A 16 pound turkey will require approximately 2.5 hours of total roasting time.
  • A 20 pound turkey will require approximately 3 hours of total roasting time.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS!
Meat Thermometer. It’s the most important part. This will be the BEST way to tell if your turkey is done roasting and not to over cook it. If you want juicy turkey, remember your meat thermometer!
Don’t be shy when oiling the skin of the turkey. I mean it! The first time I made this roast turkey in front of my dad he asked me if we were roasting this turkey or frying it because of how much oil I used. After that first bite though he was sold and we never make turkey any other way now!
Let the turkey rest covered in foil for the full 30 minutes. The resting time lets the meat become more tender and the juices settle. And honestly, the turkey is too hot to properly carve any sooner than that anyways.

Wishing you abundance, hope, peace and a festive holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving to you! 🏠😃

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