Normally, I am all about the quick and easy when it comes to making meals. Crockpot and casseroles, that’s how I survive. But, Thanksgiving is that one special meal I look forward to each year. I actually enjoy getting up at 5:30a, lighting my pumpkin-nutmeg candle and cooking all morning!
Several years ago, I found a great and simple recipe by Kraft (www.kraftrecipes.com) for a roasted turkey. If you are making a turkey for the first time or looking for a new recipe, here you go!
1 frozen whole turkey (10-16 lbs), thawed (I only use Butterball)
1 lb pork sausage
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 pkg (6 oz each) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Turkey
**Note — We don’t eat this stuffing. I make mine this way because it gives the turkey a great flavor.
Step 1: Thaw your turkey! I just moved mine to the refrigerator. Typically, it takes one day for every 4 lbs.
Step 2: On Thursday morning, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove all bags of yuck (this is the worst part), rinse turkey and pat dry.
Step 3: Brown sausage. Drain, but place 1/2 cup of the drippings in large bowl. Stir in hot water. Add stuffing mix and cooked sausage. Stir well.
Step 4: With turkey breast side down, fill neck cavity lightly. Don’t overstuff, it will expand when roasting.
Step 5: Fold wing tips around turkey back to hold neck skin in place. This is always so difficult for me! I’ve watched video clips at 6a just trying to figure it out. If you can’t get the wing tips secure, don’t worry!!
Step 6: Turn turkey breast side up, fill body cavity lightly (again, it will expand). Return legs to tucked position or tie securely with string. Place in large roasting pan sprayed with cooking spray. Brush skin with oil.
Step 7: Roast turkey immediately after stuffing. Roast approximately 3.5-4.5 hours, until the internal temperature of the thigh is at least 180 degrees, breast is 170 degrees and stuffing is 165 degrees. Make sure to cover loosely with aluminum foil about 2/3’s of the way through.
Step 8: My favorite part, make it look pretty! Garnish with parsley and slices of orange, lemon or apple.
I typically wake up at 5:30a, the turkey is ready to roast by around 7a and I cover with foil around 9 or 9:30a (wait until it is golden brown).
Butterball (www.butterball.com) has an awesome website with video tutorials, “Turkey Talk-Line”, chat line and easy conversion charts.
I hope your Thanksgiving meal is awesome. More importantly, though, may you be blessed with family, friends and fun!