Thanksgiving Day falls on the third Thursday in the month of November and every American family cooks a hearty dinner to celebrate the occasion. There are any amount of turkey recipes for thanksgiving but many people love the traditional roast turkey dinner.
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without the large roast turkey accompanied by some of the most popular autumn vegetables. Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner can be nerve wracking and many amateur cooks look out for tried and tested turkey recipes for thanksgiving. A twelve pound turkey should render ten to twelve hearty portions and a fresh bird always seems to taste a little better than a frozen one.
One twelve pound turkey-fresh if possible
A handful of fresh parsley
A few sprigs of fresh Thyme
One medium sized onion
A half a cup of salted butter
A length of string
Heat the oven to 330 degrees
Take the raw turkey and wash it thoroughly under cold running water. The bird needs to be washed inside and out. Place the freshly washed turkey on a spotlessly clean tea towel and check if the turkey has any `fatty bits` that need to be cut away. These fatty pieces are easy to spot; they look whiter than the turkey flesh.
Take another spotlessly clean tea towel and dry the bird inside and out. After drying the turkey season it with the salt and black pepper.
Some cooks place the stuffing in the cavity of the turkey but many prefer to cook the forcemeat separately in a roasting pan. I prefer to place some slices of onion and a little butter into the cavity to keep the bird moist and flavoursome.
Take the raw onion and cut it into pieces
Place the raw onion and the butter into the turkey’s cavity
Take the length of string and tie the birds legs together, this keeps the onion and butter inside of the turkey as it cooks
Take a pastry brush and coat it with Olive oil
Brush the bird with plenty of Olive oil
Take a sharp knife and finely chop the Parsley and Thyme
Sprinkle the finely chopped Parsley and Thyme over the top of the bird
You will need a large roasting tin and a wire rack that fits into the tin
Place the wire rack into the roasting tin and lay the prepared turkey on top of the wire rack
Put a large piece of tinfoil over the top of the turkey, the piece of foil just needs to rest over the top of the bird, there is no need to tuck it in
Put the turkey into the hot oven to start roasting
As a guideline allow 20 minutes cooking time per pound plus an extra 20 minutes
You want the meat to remain moist and juicy so remove the turkey from the oven at regular intervals and baste it
If you baste the bird you take a spoon and fill it with fat from the base of the roasting pan and pour it over the top of the cooking turkey
Because the turkey is covered with tinfoil the meat will remain white until you remove the foil to let the bird brown
When you are about thirty minutes away from the desired cooking time you must check that the turkey is cooking deep inside. This can be done using a meat thermometer. Take the meat thermometer and place it into the chunkiest part of the turkey thigh, making sure that the thermometer doesn’t touch the bone. When the turkey is cooked through the thermometer should read 170 degrees.
The twelve pound turkey will take somewhere in the region of two hours and fifty minutes to cook. So thirty minutes before time is up you need to remove the piece of tinfoil from the turkey to let the bird brown off. Our thanksgiving turkey should look golden and inviting.
When the turkey has turned golden brown remove it from the oven and place it on a large meat plate
Cover the hot bird with a spotlessly clean tea towel and let it rest for at least twenty minutes.
After the resting period the turkey is ready to carve.
SERVING THE TURKEY:
The thanksgiving turkey should be served with creamy mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes, glazed winter squash, green beans dressed with a little Balsamic vinegar or a cauliflower gratin. Of course many families have their own ways of serving the turkey. The moist white meat needs good thick tasty gravy to compliment it. Every Thanksgiving dinner should include a large pan of tasty stuffing.
When looking at turkey recipes for Thanksgiving choose a recipe that suits your tastes. The celebration is fun but it can be a stressful time for the cook, so plan ahead and make life a little easier. Make sure that you buy the right size turkey and cook some of the food before the day and freeze it in readiness. If you are having large gatherings ask guests to contribute by bringing side dishes and desserts. Ensure that everyone likes turkey, if not cook a small piece of beef. Whatever you do don’t forget the pumpkin pie! This pie is usually the highlight of the meal.