Take your turkey out of the freezer 3 days before you are going to cook it and place in your fridge to thaw out.
If there is still frost on it in the morning that you are cooking it, set it in ice cold water in your sink. Never leave your turkey at room temperature.
When it has thawed out put the turkey back in your fridge.
Check the weight of the turkey and decide on the time that you want to have your dinner.
I like to have left overs, so I buy 1 lb. of turkey per person. Hint – I buy 2 – 12 lb. turkeys for
24 people. Its easier to wash and lift. When I am doing two turkey’s I would use the 12 lb cooking time and add 30-40 minutes. The more you put in your oven the longer it will take. Use a meat thermometer and check it often. I start my potatoes on medium heat, a hour before the dinner.
6-8 lbs. 3 – 31/2 hrs.
8-12 lbs. 31/2 – 41/2 hrs.
12-16 lbs. 41/2 – 51/2 hrs.
16-20 lbs. 51/2- 61/2 hrs.
20-24 lbs. 61/2 – 71/2 hrs.
The internal temperature must be 185 degrees
Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Wash the turkey inside and out
Place into a roasting pan breast side up
Be sure that you remove the neck and bag from inside
Make the stuffing
2 or 3 days before your dinner, cube the bread for your stuffing
Put bread cubes in a bowl, leave partly uncovered so the cubes will dry out.
You can chop your onion and celery the day before to make your life easier.
The more dinners you do the less stressed you will be.
8-12 cups of bread crumbs
1 large of chopped onion
1/2 tsp. of sage (optional)
2-3 tsp. of poultry seasoning
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
1/2 – 3/4 cup of melted butter
1 cup of grated carrot (optional)
1 peeled and chopped apple (optional)
1 cup of dried cranberries (optional)
cheese cloth stuffing bags (optional)
Mix all together adding the melted butter last.
Stuff your turkey right before you put it in the oven.
To be safe never stuff before.
If you have stuffing left over, wrap it in foil and place beside the turkey for the last 2 hrs.
Bake uncovered until it is as brown as you want it. If your stuffing is getting to dark , cover with a small piece of foil. While I am doing all this work, I think of all the People and things in my life that I am Thankful for.
This is what I used for a turkey dinner for 20 people.
20 lbs. of turkey
3 doz. whole wheat tray buns, 2 for the dinner and 1 to go with the left overs
3 cans of whole berry cranberries
10 cups of mashed potatoes
5 cups of turnip
5 cups of carrots
1 jellied salad
1 box of Christmas oranges
ice cream or whipped cream
10 2 L. bottles of pop
My Guests stayed overnight. There were lots of left overs for Lunch.
My Daughter did her first turkey Dinner, this past Thanksgiving. She
called at least 25 times, so I thought I would share this with Her and
all of You. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!