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Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

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This recipe for Thanksgiving Turkey, by , is from Our Family Recipes, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Tracy Parsons Alderson


Be certain you start thawing your bird in the refrigerator a good 5 days before Thanksgiving.

Once it is thawed, remove the neck and giblet package from inside.

Take the neck and giblets and simmer them in a pan of salted water. This will make a flavorful broth for the gravy (some folks like to chop the giblets for the gravy, but I give them to the dogs for a treat).

Rinse your bird in the sink. Rinse the cavity by letting the water run through.

Salt the inside of the bird and place some whole celery stalks and a quartered onion inside (this makes a more flavorful gravy later).

Fold the wings over themselves so they are tucked close the bird.

I like to place the bird on top of some carrots wrapped in cheese cloth in the roaster. It helps make a good gravy base and the carrots can be served.

Place the turkey on a rack inside a shallow roasting pan. Breast side up makes a beautiful golden turkey and breast side down keeps the white meat juicer if you are cooking a "natural " bird. Brush with melted butter or slather with unmelted butter. It is not necessary to add water or to cover the turkey.

Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of thigh and does not touch bone. I like a turkey with a pop up timer because Im never certain if I have the thermometer in the right place.

Set your oven to 325F 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 170F and the thighs reaches 180F.

After it's done, allow the bird to rest for at 20 least minutes before carving. This is a good time to bake your casseroles and rolls.

Be sure to use the liquid in the bottom of the pan to make your gravy.




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