It’s finally fall, it’s cooling down and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. If you’ve been put in charge of making the key component to most thanksgiving dinners, you’ll want to follow this guide on making the best thanksgiving turkey you could imagine. Even if the only food you’ve mastered cooking, is a box of macaroni and cheese, with these steps you’ll be sure to make an impression on your family, they’ll never forget.
Before we start with instructions on cooking the turkey, we’ll start with the basics.
Make sure you don’t buy the turkey until 1-2 days before Thanksgiving. The size of the turkey you’re probably going to buy can go bad quickly. We don’t want to start your big cooking debut off to a rotten start. The general rule of thumb for how big of a turkey you should buy is, 1lb per person. So, if there are 12 people coming to your thanksgiving dinner, you’ll want to purchase a 12lb turkey (unless you’d like leftovers). If the turkey you buy is frozen, you’ll want to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator, not on your counter. For a 4 to 12lb turkey, it could take 1-3 days to thaw and more if the turkey is larger. Most turkeys you purchase in the grocery store are not frozen though. However, if you run into a bind and your turkey was frozen and you’re not reading this article until the day of Thanksgiving, you can revert to thawing in cold water. For a 4-12lb turkey, the turkey should thaw in about 2-6 hours. One last important factor is the amount of time it takes for the turkey to cook. If you’re not a seasoned turkey cooker, you might not be aware of how long it really takes to have a thoroughly cooked turkey. For an 8-12 lb turkey, you’ll need to cook the turkey at 325 degrees for 2/5 -3 hours. If it’s stuffed, you’ll need an extra 30 minutes to an hour more. For every 1-2 lbs over 12 lbs, you’ll need to add another 30 minutes to the cooking time. Make sure in the end you use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey. The minimum temperature you are looking for is 165 degrees.
Now, onto the important part of preparing the turkey!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Pan large enough to hold your particular sized turkey
6-8 Large Carrots (diced)
5 stalks of Celery (diced)
2 dice onions
1 tbls of Garlic Powder
½ stick of Butter
¼ cup of Olive oil
½ cup of minced garlic
1 package of stuffing (if desired)
Preparing the turkey:
• You’ll want to start by cleaning the turkey and removing the giblets from the inside. This step is very important; you don’t want to cook plastic inside of the turkey.
• Once the turkey is cleaned, place the turkey on its back and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder generously.
• In a frying pan, pour the olive oil in then add the butter, minced garlic and diced onions. Fry this up until the onions and garlic are both caramelized in the butter mixed with olive oil. Once this is done, you’ll want to take scoops of the mixture and shove it underneath the top layer of the turkey’s skin. Squish as much of this mixture under the turkey’s skin as possible, and then massage the outside of the skin to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Take whatever is left of the onions and garlic and stuff it inside of the turkey, and then pour the olive oil and butter mixture over the turkey.
• At this point you’ll want to put the carrots and celery inside of the turkey.
• Cook up the stuffing if desired, and once that is cooked, stuff it into the turkey as well.
• Now, you not only have the perfect turkey, but all you have to do is sit and wait. Make sure after the first hour, you take your turkey baster and suction all of the juices on the bottom of the pan and pour it over the top of the turkey to keep it from drying out.
Warning: If you followed these instructions correctly, be prepared to be asked to cook the turkey every thanksgiving from this year on. Good Luck!