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Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey: Professional Roast Turkey Recipe for Novice Chefs

Published by Ed Trear

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Preparing Thanksgiving dinner can seem intimidating to an inexperienced cook, but this simple guide will make this year’s main course effortless and delicious. For ages, the turkey has been the centerpiece to any traditional Thanksgiving meal. By learning the proper way to cook a roast turkey, this Thanksgiving tradition can be preserved and passed on to future generations.

Ingredients for Roast Turkey Recipe

  • One 8 to 10 pound turkey (makes 12 servings)
  • Salt (optional)
  • Stuffing
  • Cooking oil

Tip: If the turkey is frozen, it should be thawed in the refridgerator instead of at room temperature. This is the rule for all proteins, as it cuts down on surface bacteria growth.

Preparing and Cooking Thanksgiving Turkey

  1. The turkey’s body cavity needs to be rinsed and pat dry with paper towels. Body cavity can be seasoned with salt if desired. Stuffing is spooned into neck and body cavities. The turkey’s neck skin is then skewered to the back.
  2. Drumstick ends get tucked under the band of skin across the tail. If there is no band of skin, the drumsticks are simply tied with kitchen string to the tail. Wig tips are then twisted under the back.
  3. Turkey is placed, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and brushed with oil. If a meat thermometer is available, it is inserted into the center of an inside thigh muscle and should not touch bone. Foil is covered loosely over the turkey.
  4. Oven is heated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast turkey in oven for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Foil is removed. Then the drumsticks are released from tucked or tied position so that the thighs may cook evenly. Turkey is then cooked for an additional hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Thermometer should register 165 degrees when the turkey is done. (Without stuffing, thermometer will register 180.) When turkey is done the drumsticks should move with ease in their sockets and juices should run clear.
  5. Turkey is removed from the oven, covered with foil, and left standing for 15 to 20 minutes. Carve turkey with care and enjoy.

Dinner is Served

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