With Thanksgiving coming this week I thought to remind those getting a frozen turkey to take care:
Cooking a turkey is a time-honored tradition for many families especially around the holiday seasons. Planning ahead is the key because a large frozen turkey requires at least 24 hours for every five pounds. Food thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking, although there may be some loss of quality. Remember even though the center of the package may still be frozen as it thaws. It is best to cook your stuffing in another container as this will allow the turkey to cook better.
Order roughly 1.25 pounds of turkey per guest — so, for example, a 12- to 13-pound bird to feed a party of 9 — so everyone can get their fill and have some leftovers, too. If you want lots of leftovers, order 1.5 pounds per guest.
Most turkeys will come with the neck and giblets inside the bird. Remove these and set them aside to cook separately. Use paper towels to pat the bird dry, including inside the cavity.
Salt your turkey inside and out. Yet another layer of flavor? Yes, please! A classic rub made from thyme, garlic powder, and pepper.
Set your oven to 325 degrees to cook your bird evenly. The total cook time will depend on the size of your turkey, so let a meat thermometer be the ultimate judge. Your turkey is cooked when the breast meat reaches 170 degrees and the thighs reaches 180 degrees. The general rule for cooking a turkey is 20 minutes per pound.
After it’s done, allow the bird to rest for at 20 least minutes before carving. This is the perfect time to use the oven to warm up your sides or pop in a batch of dinner rolls.
I always save the bones and giblets to make a great turkey bone soup.
— Barbara Rexford