Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Let's Roast a Turkey

Oliver is swimming the day before Thanksgiving. He's giving thanks that we live in Florida and the water isn't too cold!


© copyright Carrie Boyko




© copyright Carrie Boyko

Wet doggy! He'll take a great nap now while I'm cooking. Good boy!

Got your bird? Hope so, because I'm about to start prepping mine and tomorrow's Thanksgiving. Get that bird out and let's get him ready. You're almost out of time. Here's how I prepare my traditional stuffing:
Old Fashioned Traditional Seasoned Stuffing
  • Organic Bread Stuffing
  • Turkey Giblets, if desired, boiled till done
  • 1/2 bunch of Organic Celery Hearts
  • 1/2 Organic Onion, minced
  • 1/4 Cup chopped Organic Parsley
  • Organic chicken broth
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Organic Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Organic Basil
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Organic Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Organic Butter, Salted

Instructions:

  1. Combine, celery, onions, parsley and seasonings in a microwavable bowl with 1-2 Teaspoons water. Cook on High 4-6 minutes, checking for tenderness each minute after 4.
  2. Save all the ends, discards and unused leaves for the homemade broth. All these discarded vegetables will lend good flavor to your turkey broth on Friday.
  3. Mix cooked vegetables into bread stuffing.
  4. Boil chicken broth (use in place of water--amount according to directions on stuffing package) and butter.
  5. Stir together until well mixed.
  6. When you have your bird prepared, stuff the cavity of the turkey lightly with stuffing mixture, leaving some room for expansion.
  7. Cook any remaining stuffing in a small casserole dish for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

No surprises there; I'm strictly traditional when it comes to stuffing. Now for a few tips on getting the bird ready:

  1. In a clean sink, soak the bird for 10 minutes in cool water.
  2. Empty the sink and rinse the bird, giving him a going over for any leftover feather roots.
  3. Drain the body cavity well and place into your oiled roasting pan.
  4. Dry the bird off well.
  5. If you've got a broth injector (a giant hypodermic needle), you can add flavor and moisture by injecting some chicken broth into each area of thick meat (breasts, thighs, legs). Add some extra salt to the broth to help the meat hold the moisture.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, basil and poultry seasoning to your taste, including the body cavity.
  7. A little chicken broth in the bottom of the pan will help with drying skin.
  8. After you've stuffed your bird, he can be covered and put back in storage until a couple of hours before you start to cook him.
  9. Roasting times vary depending on temperature (325 or 350 degrees) and whether you stuff the turkey or cook him "empty". Stuffed turkeys cook a bit slower (5 minutes per pound) but the stuffing is SOOOO good, that it is worth the extra time. Use 15-20 minutes per pound as a guide and start testing the internal temperature of the thigh after the minimum time.

Before the stores close, make sure you have a baster or basting brush to keep him moist while he roasts tomorrow. The other item you should have on hand is some tin foil to wrap his wings. leg ends and tent his breast, if he begins to get too brown. Wrap the tin foil with the shiny side out, reflecting heat away from these areas.

I'll be making homemade Organic Turkey Broth and preparing Organic Turkey and Rice soup on Friday and Monday. Hope to see you then.

Tomorrow's post will be my personal Thanksgiving essay for this year. If you have time to read it, I'd love to hear from you. What are you feeling thankful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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