How to cook a turkey
Try no to overthink it. First, pick out a turkey. They recommend one pound per person eating, but that’s usually extra.
Second, what brand to buy and whole turkey or just turkey breast. The whole turkey has both white and dark meat and, of course, the breast is just white meat. Make the decision and purchase one, and if frozen, figure out the thawing time.
I’ve always thawed in a sink full of ice water, changing water every hour. But if thawing in the refrigerator allow at least five days. Once thawed, clean giblets (neck, heart, liver, gizzard, etc.) out of cavity. Rinse bird well and pat dry.
Next, season your turkey. I make it simple — salt, pepper and butter. Run your fingers under the tip of the breast to loosen the skin and run your hand under the skin with butter. Also, put one stick of butter/margarine in chest cavity. That’s it.
Next, place the turkey in a roaster pan add one can of any broth and two cups of water. Cover with foil and it goes in the over at 350 degrees for two hours. Pull from oven and poke the breast with a fork to release broth bubbles, and back in oven it goes for another 90 minutes (if the turkey has a pop up timer, I cook 45 minutes after it pops up). If there’s no timer I judge doneness by the legs falling off.
LOL, yes, it never fails.
When done, pull the turkey from the oven let it cool a few minutes, then move whole bird from pan to platter and cover in foil.
Next here comes the amazing part. When I was a kid we anticipated this — the oyster dressing. My Dad loved it and he always made it himself. Here we go. Make sure there are no loose bones in the broth in roaster pan.
Toast a whole loaf of bread, more if needed, torn into pieces. Chop a large onion. Add the bread and onion to broth. Gently toss to coat the bread. Then add:
3 tablespoons sage
1 stick butter
3 cans of select oysters.
Go thru with fingers to make sure there are no shell pieces. Gently mix all in the roaster. Try not to mush up bread. It should be slightly wet. Add more toast if soupy. Cover with foil and put in the over at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
In 45 minutes, pull from the oven, remove the foil, and gently stir and put back in the oven uncovered for another 45 minutes until a crispy brown crust forms on top. It’s done when the oysters are slightly firm and easily cut with a fork.
It’s amazingly delivious. Place the wrapped turkey back in the over to heat up if necessary.
Hope ya’ll enjoy it.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
In the kitchen with Sharon this week is Patricia Nichols. Patricia is a great cook and does she have lots of great recipes. I was talking to Patricia last week and I was telling her I have lots of folks asking how to bake a turkey, so I thought it was appropriate to use Patricia’s recipe. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe.
Reflecting back on my thanksgivings…
I remember my mother would work so hard getting all the preparations for our Thanksgiving day meal, telling all of us to make sure to invite everyone that did not have a place to go. She did not want anyone going without a Thanksgiving day dinner. My father and late husband would deliver to those that could not get out. This year make sure to check on your neighbors to make sure they have a place to go this Thanksgiving day.
Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends giving thanks for all of God’s blessings.
Sharon Hughes is the advertising manager at The Times-Gazette. She is also a mother, grandmother and chef.