Monday, November 29, 2010

Roast Turkey at home!

My first Roasted Turkey. I was worried at first that something could go wrong. I do not have the rectangular shallow roasting pan with the cooling rack so the bottom of my turkey was not browned. Nevertheless, when the turkey was done, I can't believe that I did a great job! The turkey was moist and tender. I asked my friend how she cooked her roasted turkey. She verbally informed me on the details. I also read on blogs about roasted turkey. I wrote down many recipes. I like the one especially with mixed herbs.. yumyum!! But when its time to cook the turkey, I cant decide which recipe I want to use so I just come up with it. :)

We thought the turkey was 15 lbs but it was actually 21 lbs. Just the two of us with a big bird!! Plenty of leftovers.. LoL!! No wonder it was really heavy so hubby helped me. I used the cold-water thaw method instead of refrigerated thaw. NEVER thaw a turkey at a room temperature, as this allows for bacterial growth. Rinse turkey under cool running water, rubbing all surfaces inside and out, to wash away bacteria. Remember any surface that comes in contact with raw poultry, must be washed with hot soapy water. Bacteria transfers easily from one surface to the next and can results in illness.

How long to thaw your turkey:

Turkey thawing time in cold water. 
Approximately 30 minutes per pound
Change water every 1/2 hour.

Whole Turkey Weight          Thawing Time
  8 - 12 lbs                                  4 - 6 hours
12 - 16 lbs                                  6 - 8 hours
16 - 20 lbs                                  8 - 10 hours
20 - 24 lbs                                  10 - 12 hours

Turkey thawing time in the refrigerator (40 degrees F)
Approximately 24 hours per 5 pounds

Whole Turkey Weight           Thawing Time
  8 - 12 lbs                                  1 - 2 day
12 - 16 lbs                                  2 - 3 days
16 - 20 lbs                                  3 - 4 days
20 - 24 lbs                                  4 - 5 days

Check Butterball website for tips and how to.

Personally I prefer not to cook stuffing inside the turkey. I think it takes a longer time, and they will get gooey. I like the crunch of baked dressings, that is why I baked separately. After cleaning the inside of the turkey, I lathered the inside with lemon juice and rub all over with a small handful of salt. For flavor, I used chopped carrots, celery, onions, cilantro and dried thyme to put inside the turkey, then covered with aluminium foil so that the vegetables won't fall out easily while baking. Before placing the turkey into the pan, I rubbed melted butter all over the skin and added  turkey broth into the pan (I think I added too much). Preheated the oven at 500 degrees F. When it's ready to put the turkey in the oven, covered with heavy-duty aluminium foil, I reduced to 350 degrees F. Then I reduced again to 325 degrees F, uncovered. I basted the turkey with the juices about three to four times. Finally, after several hours, I inserted the meat thermometer at the deepest part of the turkey and the temperature reading was around 180 - 190 degrees F. The turkey is ready, browned on top and smells good!! I let the turkey rest for about 15 to 20 minutes before hubby carved the turkey. :))

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