I think making a turkey is one of the easiest things to do. Once it’s in the oven there isn’t much left to prepare (except sides) and clean up is a breeze. There are tons of different ways to prepare a turkey, but this is how I do it and have always had great results.
Here are a few pointers on turkey making:
- Figure 1- 1.5 pounds of bird per person (leftover turkey is never a bad thing to have and you don’t want to run short)
- Make sure your bird is completely defrosted before cooking. I like to leave it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before I cook it (shorter or longer amount of time may be needed depending on the size of the turkey). If you don’t have time to defrost it this way or if it’s still partially frozen you can soak it in a sink filled with cool water. If you defrost it this way make sure you clean your sink before and after. Also, change the water out every 30 minutes.
- My way of preparing turkey does not call to brine it ahead of time (soaking the bird overnight in a mixture of water, salt, and sugar), but it is definitely a step you can do.
- Plan to cook the turkey for 20 minutes per pound. You can check the breast with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s up to 165 degrees. Don’t overcook!
- The more you open the oven to baste a turkey, the longer it may take to cook. Heat is lost each time you open the oven.
What you’ll need:
- A roasting pan with a lid (a use tin foil to cover it)
- Cheese cloth (found in most grocery stores). This helps keep juices on the bird during cooktime.
- 1-2 cups chicken broth
- Spices (see step 4 for a list of what I use)
- Baster or ladle
1. Rinse the turkey well and remove and innards.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
3. Pour the chicken broth in the pan and set the turkey in.
4. Sprinkle the bird and pan with spices. I don’t measure amounts….I just use a little bit of everything listed: garlic, paprika, rosemary, parsley, pepper, onion powder, salt
5. Melt 1 stick of butter (I put it in a coffee mug in the microwave) and place a piece of cheesecloth (cut the size of the bird) into it to soak the butter. Place the cheesecloth over the bird. Cover the turkey and place in the oven.
6. Baste the bird every hour.
7. Remove the bird when it’s done cooking and remove the the cheese cloth. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes before carving.
How to make gravy:
1. Remove the turkey and any scraps from the pan, leaving just the juices.
2. Place the pan on the stove top and turn the heat on high.
3. In a separte container mix water with flour and shake (the constancy should be fairly thick, but still pourable)
4. Whisk the juices as it comes to a boil and slowly add the water/flour mixture until the gravy is to a consistancy you desire.