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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Cooking Instructions

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by friends and family. I know we did. My mom and dad come over, and Jake and Elizabeth came over with our precious granddaughter, Nevaeh, who decided to START WALKING! What a treasure that was to witness! Doug and his new bride, Valerie, also came to dinner. Kyle and Beth are living with us now (since August) and so our table was full. I really wish the oldest, Dustin, could have been there with his family, but they had their own wonderful Thanksgiving dinner in Texas, where they live.

I cooked an 18 lb turkey this year and it came out perfect, as always. I have never understood why people get up before the crack of dawn and cook their turkey to death for hours and hours! I will provide you with simple cooking instructions that will turn out a beautiful, moist turkey every time. I also made mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, regular stuffing,
green bean casserole
(I make this under protest every year but my husband LOVES the stuff and insists on it - thankfully, Beth made it for me this year and spared me!lol), sesame soy-glazed green beans (I FORGOT to take a picture but the recipe is below), roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon pecan crunch (recipe below),
corn pudding (recipe below),
and wheat and white rolls. My mother had brought a roast and her wonderful roast gravy as well, so we had a table full of food! No one left hungry. Now onto the cooking instructions for your turkey:


18 - 20 lb (8.165 - 9.072 kg) Turkey (UNSTUFFED!!)
2 yellow onions, chopped coarsely
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery, chopped
2 cups (480 ml) water OR chicken stock (I prefer chicken stock)
2 TBSP (30 ml) melted butter

Preheat oven to 250F (121.1C). Place vegetables and broth or water in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place rack over the vegetables and put turkey BREAST SIDE DOWN on the rack. Roast turkey (BREAST SIDE DOWN) at 250F (121.1C) for 3 hours. Turn turkey breast side UP and brush with 2 TBSP (30 ml) melted butter; roast for another hour. (It can be tricky flipping the turkey over - I use 2 wads of wet paper can also slide a long wooden spoon inside and lift and spin the turkey - this really is a 2 person job) Turn the heat up to 400F (204.4C) and roast for another hour. Make sure the meat in the thigh is at 175F (79.4C). Remove turkey from the oven and cover with foil. DO NOT carve the turkey for at least 20 minutes after removing from oven, to let the juices redistribute!!!!
My honey carving the turkey!

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