Turkey recipes/hotline

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Nomad, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    We are very excited here. :DOur son and new bride are coming home for Thanksgiving!

    However, cooking turkey is one thing I have problems with- in the kitchen.

    Perhaps it is 'cause I only cook a turkey approx. every other year. Just can't seem to hold on to procedures and recipes. HELP!

    I purchased my frozen turkey yesterday.

    Took it out of the freezer today.

    Here are the questions:

    1. What do I do with- it? :redface: Do I put in the refrigerator now or leave it out for a little while and then put in the refrigerator? IF I leave it in the refrigerator for the next day or two, will it be ready to cook on Thursday?
    2. Can you guys give me some tried and true turkey recipes? We seem to like herbs. I have on order cornbread stuffing and gravy for pick up. :redface: But I still have to cook the turkey. My new daughter in law is making some things, and I am making some things (sides and desserts). But the turkey...ugh...never could get ahold of this thing. So, I need cooking times and recipes.

    Many, many thanks and HURRY!
  2. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Your turkey should thaw in the fridge just fine. If not, you can sit it in cold water to thaw. NEVER thaw at room temperature--it is asking for food poisoning.

    Basically, cooking a turkey is no different than cooking a really big chicken, LoL. If you can give me the size of your bird and some idea of where you want to go with seasonings, I can probably help you out further.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Many thanks.
    Awesome...just what I need and I recall reading that about the water last go around.

    The turkey is 19.25 pounds. It is in the frig.

    We like rosemary, garlic, basil and oregano (not sure how those would go all together). Ha!

    Like butter too!

    Got anything???? :confused:
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Nomad, it's not any harder than you make it. Really. It should tell you right on the turkey package approximately how long it takes to defrost.
    When I have cut the time short I scrub the sink and put the turkey in cold water for an hour or so on Wed. just to make sure it finishes thawing in the refrigerator. Truthfully I stopped buying frozen turkeys so I don't have that worry anymore.

    Here's what I suggest. Go to the store and buy BIG cooking or roasting plastic bags....they are designated by size so check your pounds and buy a box that is the right size. Buy a big onion, a big lemon, a big navel orange and whatever herbs you like. Chop the big three into 5ths or 6ths with the peel left on the lemon and orange.

    Wash and dry your turkey (inside and out) and fill the cavity with the OLO and tuck the herbs in there last. Put into the roasting bag and follow the directions on the roasting bag box. The turkey will be moist and you do not have to touch it while it cooks...not once...it does it's own thing. The bag will tell you how long it should take. Make sure you have a meat thermometer and when you believe it is done put the thermometer in the turkey thigh and make sure it is 165 degrees (without touch the bone).
    Let the turkey sit for 15 or 30 minutes before you slice and serve.

    Couldn't be easier and worry free. Happy TDay. DDD
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We do ours a bit different than DDD. We get one of those injector kits from the store and inject the bird with flavor. Or just rub it down with butter and herbs. Then we put it into a roasting pan late the night before thanksgiving day and roast it slowly all night long slowly on low heat...about 275 I think. (Tony does the cooking) We put it in about midnight because we eat about noon. Its done at like 10 am but we still have to finish all the sides the next morning.
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    If you want to speed up cooking time on the bird, you can place a few kitchen utensils such as knives and forks inside. It'll help transmit heat from the oven to the inside of the bird.

    If you really want the effect of the herbed butter, let it soften and mix in the herbs and a little bit of crushed garlic.

    Using your hand, reach under the skin on the breast and thighs and carefully loosen it from the meat underneath.

    Now, insert the herbed butter under the skin and smooth it out so the turkey doesn't get lumpy.

    Start the bird breast side down at a high temperature for about half an hour. Turn it over and raise the heat to around 400 degrees. Baste with the butter and drippings in the pan (some people like to lay cheesecloth over the breast and baste over that).

    Keep checking. The turkey is done when the juices from the thickest part of the thigh run clear.

    Let it sit on the counter for twenty minutes or so. This will both drive the juices back into the meat to make it juicy, and will help to make it easier to carve.

    If it looks like it is over-browning, tent some tinfoil over the breasts and baste under it.

    Like I said, it's an easy cooking job--just a big chicken. I don't even much like domestic turkey and I can cook a good one.
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Your posts are HELPING!
    Thank you.

    This is the deal, I THINK chicken is more tender. My turkeys SOMETIMES come out dry or tough.

    AND usually I just make chicken for husband and I. When I have TG, I have a few "others" I usually don't have....so it's my only example of my cooking. And then I put the whole thing aside until the next year (or usually two years later). And can't remember a thing.... UGH!

    I have to work tonight and am typing on my lap top and checking your posts.

    husband is home working too...its a fun day!

    Says he will buy the bag, thermometer and ingredients for me.

    What are the rules re: a turkey being dry/tough? Any typical cooking times per pound? I am printing your stuff out..... Thank you. Better than google.
    I feel like I got some aunts today...much appreciated...let me tell ya!:D
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    With a bird that size I would start checking it at about 2.5 hours or so for doneness.

    I dislike turkey enough that if I can find them, I prefer to buy capons (neutered roosters). They cost a lot more, but the meat is much juicier and they are easier to cook, especially if you are used to handling chickens.

    If you go the capon route (you may have to wait until next year and order them), be sure to get a surgical capon. The chemical capons are loaded with hormones to prevent puberty
  9. ML

    ML Guest

    We use roasting bags and find they are moister that way. I also encourage you buy a disposable roasting pan you can just throw away when done. Cuts down on mess. Good luck!
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    The evening before, I clean the bird, and rib the insides with a salt/pepper mixure - I use coarse salt for this - and wrap in plastic and refrigerate until the next morning. I also prepare as many items as I possibly can the evening before so all I have to do is cook /heat up the next day while the bird is cooking. You can premake your mashed potatoes and then heat them in a casserole dish. You can prepare your green bean casserole or other veggies the night before so they just need to be popped into the oven. You can make your butter/herb mixture and any other sides like chutney, etc., the day before. I make popover and those are really the only thing that I make last minute so they are hot for the table.

    The next morning, I do like GN and carefully separate the skin from the meat under the breast and rub my butter herb mixture in there, then press it back down. I then drape over the breast several bacon slices and then put a tent of tin foil over the entire roasting pan and bake it slowly (325F) for about 2/3 of the time needed. Then I remove the tin foil and baste every 15 minutes until done & crispy on top. Turkey is always plump and juicy and delish - every time. *However, I will add that I roast my turkey stuffed. I think roasting a stuffed helps a bit in keeping the bird from drying out, at least that's been my experience. Just remember, if you stuff the bird, you must until right before you are ready to roast it - never ever the night before!!

    Best of luck - I'm sure everything will be great! And now you have a daughter in law to help! How exciting!
  11. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I have always used a cooking bag for my turkey- I throw in full celery stalks, full carrots and really large potatoe's at the bottom.

    Its always moist, I end up with lots of gravy, and the celery/carrots make a good side dish as well. Last year I bought the Shillings Turky Rub and covered the Turkey in it before putting in the bag - am already panicking cause I can't find any this year.

    I also always use one of those timers in the turkey because if you leave the turkey cooking in the bag too long, it is so moise it falls apart

  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    If you check the butterball turkey site, you will find a great deal of info. Most of the reason for a dry turkey is over cooking. I'm a big fan of a meat thermometers.
    Also, the disposable aluminium pans are wonderful for not having to scrub the pan. We cook one turkey on the grill then throw away the pan when we are done. Makes clean up a breeze.