Creating the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving is easy once you get the hang of it and have some experience. But for first time turkey roasters it can be a daunting task, add to that the challenge of hosting a big Thanksgiving meal, and you’ve got a big chore ahead of you. To make roasting a turkey easier, use the following tips for a perfect Thanksgiving meal.
Wow Guests with a Perfectly Roasted Turkey
Defrosting a frozen turkey is essential unless of course you have a Thanksgiving turkey that was never frozen. Read the instructions carefully to determine how long your turkey needs to defrost, this is based on weight.
Some people prefer to brine a turkey before roasting it. This means soaking it overnight (or longer) in a light, water-based broth with salt and a few herbs and vegetables to infuse it with more flavor. This isn’t necessary but a step preferred by some.
Place turkey breast side up on the rack, fold wing tips in, fill body with stuffing, tie legs with kitchen twine and hold the neck flap down with a toothpick. Rub turkey with softened butter and salt and pepper. You can use the drippings in the bottom of the pan for basting throughout or create a little extra basting sauce with a half a stick of butter and a half cup of dry white wine.
Set the oven for 425 degrees with the rack in the lowest position. After 30 minutes baste the turkey and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Continue to baste every 30 minutes. Base cooking time loosely on time recommended on package. Use a meat thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the thigh to determine when the turkey is done. The USDA recommends a temperature of 180 degrees to be safe. If it appears to be browning too quickly, cover it loosely with tin foil.
Once the turkey has reached its safe temperature remove it from the oven and transfer carefully to a platter, letting it rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.