Turkey 101!

Turkey 101!

Thanksgiving is a major meal and a major holiday. No Thanksgiving would be complete without the star - THE TURKEY! Here are some simple tips and directions for a fabulous Thanksgiving Turkey!
Thawing a turkey can be a little tricky, especially depending on size. You always want to make sure you take your turkey out ahead of time and give it a few days in the fridge to thaw. A good rule of thumb is 24hours for every 4-5lbs of turkey.

  • 12lbs—3 days
  • 16lbs—4 days
  • 20lbs and up—5-6 days

Remember, always place the turkey on a tray just in case it leaks—this will save you the trouble of clean up and, more importantly, contaminating other foods.

You can also opt to thaw it in cool water. Do not take the turkey out of the package—ideally, wrap it up one more time with plastic or place it in a plastic bag and tie it tightly to prevent leakage. This will take about 30 minutes per pound, changing the water every 30 minutes.

  • 12lbs—6 hours
  • 16lbs—8 hours
  • 20lbs and up—10+ hours

If your turkey is not 100% defrosted by the time you want to cook it, don’t sweat it! It will only take longer to cook. Remember, your turkey is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest parts of the breast and thigh reaches 165F.

Follow the recipes included to have a perfect turkey dinner, stuffing and gravy included!

Apple Cider Brine

Yield:

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 c apple cider
  • 1 c salt
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/4c black pepper corn
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 4 c ice cubes

Equipment:

  • Large pot

Bring all ingredients to a boil until salt is dissolved. Allow to cool before placing thawed (or mostly thawed) turkey into brine. Allow to sit for up to 2 days.

Perfect Roast Turkey

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                       

  • 14-16lb turkey
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Poultry seasoning
  • 1-2qt turkey stock

Equipment:

  • Roasting pan
  • Turkey baster

Preheat your oven to 325F. Remove turkey from packaging and place the giblets aside (we will use these later!). Make sure to rinse the inside and outside (especially if brining) of your turkey and pat dry with a paper towel before placing it in the roaster pan. Rub the softened butter all over the turkey and season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Stuff with dressing if desired.

Pour 3 cups of turkey stock in the bottom of the pan and cover with foil. Place in the oven and baste every 30 minutes. After 2 ½ hours, remove the foil and continue to cook for another 1 ½ to 2 hours, still basting every 30 minutes. Add more stock as needed as it will evaporate some. Cook until the thermometer reads 165F. Remove from oven and allow to rest 20-30 minutes before carving.

Stuffing with Giblets

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • Bag of giblets from turkey                                                                                                           
  • 9c bread, torn (you can use whatever bread you like, a variety is best!)
  • 1c butter, melted
  • 2 ribs celery, fine chopped
  • 1 medium onion, fine chopped
  • 1tbl poultry seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • 3c turkey stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Equipment:

  • sautee pan
  • large bowl
  • baking pan
  • rubber spatula

Melt butter in pan and add celery and onion. Sautee until translucent. Pour into bowl and add bread and poultry seasoning. Carefully mix together and add eggs and turkey stock. Mix until well combined and wet, but not soggy. Set aside.

Place giblets in pan and add 1c water. Cook until done. Remove giblets and reserve water. Cut into little bits and mix into the stuffing. Save half of the dressing for the turkey and place the other half in the baking dish. Bake at 325F for 30-45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165F.

Turkey Gravy

Yield: 4 cups

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                           

  • 1c of water from giblets
  • 1c of pan drippings
  • 2c of turkey stock
  • ¼ c butter
  • ¼ c flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Equipment:

  • Small sauce pot
  • Wisk

Melt butter in sauce pot and add flour. Cook for 5 minutes until golden, whisking constantly as to not burn your roux. Add all 4 cups of liquid and bring to a boil to thicken.