Happy Holidays everyone!
Since it’s the holiday season, my new blog post is about how to make a turkey! I decided to have both sets of grandparents over, to celebrate Christmas a little early this year. This was the first Christmas in years, that my grandparents stayed in Canada. So what better time to learn how to cook a turkey!
I was surprised at how easy it was! I can’t lie though, I did have help from my mother who made this possible. Follow the step’s below.
Fresh Turkey – I used a fresh turkey. It was not frozen.
Frozen Turkey – If you are cooking a frozen turkey, make sure you defrost it in your fridge. Allow 5 hrs per pound. Another quick method is covering the turkey with cold water in the sink. Changing the water every 30min. Allow 1 hour per pound.
Start early in the morning, if you plan on having a dinner at a normal time. The time in which you start cooking will depend on the size of your turkey, the time you plan to have dinner and also the temperature of your oven. I started cooking my turkey at 10:30am, it was a 15lb turkey and it was done by 6pm.
Step 1: Prepare the turkey by removing giblets and neck. Rinse and wipe the cavity; sprinkle with salt to disinfect the inside of the turkey. Rinse out the salt thoroughly with cold water. Pat dry. Place the clean turkey into a turkey pan or disposable aluminum roasting pans. Set aside.
Step 2: Dice up onion and celery. I used a cup or more for each.
Step 3: Put a 3 large tablespoons of margarine or butter into a frying pan and pour in your onions and celery. Sprinkle a few table spoons of poultry seasoning into the pan with everything. Saute the ingredients until they turn translucent.
Step 4: Pour the sautéed onions, celery and poultry seasoning onto your bread for making the stuffing. Mix all ingredients around well until all the bread has been covered. Do not over saturate the stuffing, you don’t want it to be too mushy, but you don’t want it to be too dry.
Step 5: Pour about a half a cup of orange juice over stuffing. Mix well and make sure that the stuffing is not mushy. Just enough OJ to lightly coat all the bread. Add a few dashes of pepper. You can add other ingredients, but I like my stuffing fairly simple and traditional.
Step 6: Open your cleansed turkey breast side up, so that it lays flat against the roasting pan. Stuff your stuffing into the inside cavity of the turkey, making sure not to go outside of the cavity, or it may burn the skin. Pack the inside cavity well and tight. Once packed, turn the turkey around and pack the neck until full.
Step 7: Once both ends of the turkey have been stuffed, gently pull the skin together over the cavity and fasten with skewers. It doesn’t have to close completely, but the less stuffing exposed the less dry it will be. Also, less of a chance of burning.
Step 8: Lightly brush olive oil over the skin of your turkey to prevent tin foil from sticking to turkey skin and burning. Make sure you get all sides of the turkey that are exposed, especially the legs. Tent the turkey loosely with foil. Roast in 325F oven for about 20min per pound, or until juices run clear when turkey is pierced and when thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180F (82C) for a stuffed turkey or 170F (77C) for an unstuffed turkey. Remove tent for last hour of roasting.
Bon Appetite When turkey is done, transfer to warm platter. Tent with foil and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows time for juices at the surface of the bird to distribute evenly throughout the meat.
Keep in mind that all ovens are different and that you should check on your turkey and baste the turkey at least 4 times throughout the cooking process to help prevent burning and to give the skin a golden brown colour and crispiness. Click on link to take you to my flickr site for larger images and descriptions.
I hope you enjoy my family recipe as much as I do. Believe me, if I can do it so can you! Here are some pics from the winter weekend. Tree hunting and all. =)