Thursday, November 15, 2007

Talking Turkey, Part 1

If you're still undecided about your menu for your family's Thanksgiving Day dinner, here are some suggestions.

Roast Turkey
Sausage and Apple Stuffing
Creole Creamy Succotash
Orange Cranberry Relish
Sweet Potato Pie

Below is my recipe for the juiciest, and EASIEST roast turkey ever.

1 (12 pound) whole turkey, DEFROSTED and giblets removed
¼ cup olive oil
4 carrots, chopped
2 yellow onions, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 lemon, quartered
12 garlic cloves
½ cup Poultry seasoning, divided
¼ cup water
Kosher Salt
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Rinse turkey and pat dry thoroughly.
Season the inside of the turkey liberally with Kosher salt, black pepper, and poultry seasoning.
Combine the celery, onions, garlic, carrots in a large mixing bowl.
Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the lemon and half of the vegetable mixture. Place remaining vegetables in the bottom of the roasting pan to act as a base for the turkey.
Rub the outside of the turkey with olive oil and season liberally with the poultry seasoning.
Pour water into the bottom of the roasting pan..
Place in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, then lower temperature to 325 degrees F.
Continue to cook turkey until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 180 degrees F.
Basting the turkey is not necessary, but will promote even browning.
Protect the breast from browning too much before the thigh is done by loosely covering it with a tent of aluminum foil, if necessary.
Remove bird from oven, and allow to stand for about 30 minutes before carving.

FOOD SAFETY NOTE: People who are members of high risk groups or with challenged immune systems should use care. The test for doneness is the TEMPERATURE of the meat, not the color of the skin. Government food safety guidelines recommend cooking the turkey until the thigh meat temperature reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees F.

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