Quick Recipes and Easy

Worry Free Roast Turkey

Roasting a turkey does not need to add stress to any Holiday. Remembering a few simple tips could make all the difference.

Empty the turkey’s cavity of the giblet packet and neck, set them aside. Wash your turkey well in cold water, rinsing the cavity and rubbing the outside with your hands to ensure that there is no debris left behind. Quickly pat your turkey dry with a clean paper towel. Place the turkey in your roasting pan, tie both legs together with string and tuck the wing tips to the body. (I usually use toothpicks to tack them in) This keeps the wings from hanging out and burning. Sprinkle with just a small bit of salt and pepper. Pour one 14 oz can of chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan, for moisture in the cooking process and added flavor during basting. Cover the turkey, (with lid or foil) and roast at 325°F for the following recommended times:

8-12 lbs 2 3/4-3 hrs
12-14 lbs 3-3 3/4 hrs
14-18 lbs 3 3/4-4 1/4 hrs

Uncover and let the turkey brown for about 1 more hour, basting every 15 minutes.

While the turkey is in the oven, take the giblets and neck that you set aside and simmer in four cups of water in a sauce pan, until cooked well, about 45 minutes.

If you choose to serve gravy, stuffing and mashed potatoes with your turkey, here are some simple ways to dress it up. Remove the turkey form the pan and set it on a carving board or tray. Do not throw away your basting broth.

Real Potatoes or instant, make them special with your own touch, guaranteed to leave no leftovers. If you use real potatoes, consider using the tasty, buttery textured Yellow Potatoes. Peel, and simmer until fork tender, drain very well; no one likes watery mashed spuds. Mash with butter, milk and salt to taste If you prefer the instant potatoes, make them according to the directions on the box.

Now, for my favorite twist, after mashing, blend in ¼ cup of shredded cheese per quart of potatoes. Cheddar is fantastic for a sharp cheesy taste; I like Smoked Gouda and a pinch of garlic powder for a savory gourmet touch.

Stuffing, whether homemade or out of a box, mix the dressing with the basting broth from the turkey, add a stalk or two of chopped celery and a small diced onion. The turkey juices make a real homemade taste that all of your guests will like.

Gravy, just as with the dressing, use the basting broth and turkey juices as a substitute for plain water. You will be praised by all, by just making these few small changes.

Maria Graver is the author of many articles related to cooking and entertainment. While she has catered full dinners to groups as large as 400, most of her writings are focused on the family and making memorable meals that keep everyone coming back for more. If you’d like to learn how do start cooking like a pro, please visit her website, mariascookery.com MariasCookery.com.

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