Preparing the perfect turkey isn’t that easy, but in case you want to follow the tradition, here are some tips how to choose and prepare a great Thanksgiving turkey.
One of the most important things is the choice of the turkey. In case you are planning to have guests on Thanksgiving, buy a larger turkey. The turkeys on the market are with different sizes as they start from 8 to 20 pounds.
Never buy a turkey, if you are not sure it will fit in your oven, so go for middle sized turkey. Cooking the turkey has its own rules. At first, never stuff a bird until you are ready to roast it. The right temperature to cook it is up to 165 degrees F.
The traditionalists are preparing first the stuffing, then the turkey. Many cooks consider preparing the stuffing as the most important thing, so do it before the roasting.
When you prepare the stuffing, just place it between the meat and the skin of the turkey. The very next thing to do is to loosen the skin over the breast and the legs. This is necessary for those that crave healthier foods.
Place the stuffing inside the body and neck cavities as you pack the bird. If you pack it hard, the stuffing may not be well cooked. The stuffing will expand while the turkey is cooking and it means the stuffing is well prepared. In case you have prepared more stuffing, just bake it separately from the turkey.
The preparation for roasting the turkey also takes time. The first thing to do before roasting is to rinse the turkey in cool water. Wash it well and then add the stuffing.
Another good tip is to remove the whole turkey from the refrigerator at least two hours before cooking. This way you will bring the turkey to room temperature. Remove the giblets from their bag and rinse the giblet pieces.
Rinse the whole turkey and don’t miss the body and the neck cavities. Season it with salt and peppers as you season inside and outside. Place the turkey on a roasting pan, but avoid the aluminum roasting pans, for they are not sturdy enough to carry the turkey. Put the turkey in the oven and cook it up to 165 degrees F.
When the skin becomes golden brown, the turkey is ready to be removed from the oven. Carving is also an issue, so be careful and start carving from the breasts of the turkey.