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Share a Spoon - Thanksgiving Turkey and Dressing and GRAVY BABY!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I know I have been MIA, I've had way too much going on outside the URL world.  I am however, getting things manageable so I will be back shortly.  I didn't want to leave you hanging on Thursday though so I thought I would re-post this TURKEY TUTORIAL so you don't have to go hunting for it in the archives!  See you soon Smackers!  Have a HAPPY TURKEY DAY!

Think Tank Momma

Happy Thursday Smackers!

Share a Spoon


Let's be honest.  Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without the BIRD.  I love the turkey.  The turkey and the dressing are my favorite parts.  Oh...and the gravy.  Turkey gravy is to. die. for.

I thought this week I would share my secrets for making the perfect bird.  I've made turkey every which way.  I've brined them.  I've cooked them covered.  I've cooked them uncovered.  Fried.  Baked.  I've had them stuffed.  Definitely not my favorite, but feel free to stuff the bird if you like.  My favorite is roasted.

Trust me no brine needed.  No injected spices concoction needed.  Just the bird, some butter, salt and pepper.  That's essentially it.

Here's what you do.  I even did a picture tutorial for you this weekend.  Yep!  We had turkey this weekend so that I could take pictures for you and everything.

So...turkey takes roughly 20 minutes per pound to cook at 325-350 degrees, depending on your oven.

In a large roasting pan lay down some carrots and celery.  You don't need to peel them or anything.  We are just making a bed for the bird.

Clean out all the packaged innards of the turkey.  There are usually two packages and a neck bone stuffed into either side of the bird.  Make sure you get them all out.  Wash the bird thoroughly and make sure to remove any left over feather debris or whatever else.

Take some paper towels and pat the skin dry.  Make sure the turkey is very dry.

Set the bird breast side up on top of the vegetable bed you made and tuck the wings under the turkey.

Now you will need to gently lift the skin under the breast and move the skin away from the flesh of the turkey.  We are going to massage some butter into the breasts to keep them moist and flavorful.

Next you need two sticks of softened butter.  Make sure it's really soft.  We are going to put one stick under the skin and one stick all over the outside of the bird.

Now for the salt.  KOSHER salt.  Lots of it.

It'll look like a lot of salt.  But we're making a crust, and's a lot of bird!  We need to season the turkey.  Depending on the size of your turkey it'll be one to two handfuls of kosher salt.

Now for the pepper.

Into the oven it goes.  Just like this.  Do not cover it.  Roast the bird for 20 minutes per pound as instructed on the turkey packaging.

Cook's Note:  I usually have 30-40+ people for Thanksgiving.  In order to have enough gravy, I buy a couple of turkey wings when I buy the turkey.  Boil the neck bone we removed from the bird, the wings, a couple carrots, celery stalks, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and a bunch of flat leaf parsley on the stove while the bird is cooking.  We're essentially making turkey stock.  I had this to the drippings from the bird, which are usually quite a bit, and I always have enough gravy and au jus this way.

Here is your bird all done.

Ain't it purty?
You gotta admit, that's a good lookin' bird!
Cover the bird with aluminum foil now to keep it warm while you finish the sides.

Now, onto the stuffing.  Well, actually in this case it's dressing, cause I don't actually "stuff" the bird.  I don't like the texture of the gooey stuffing inside the bird, so....we cook it on the side.

It will have all the flavor of the "stuffed" kind though because we are going to moisten all those bread crumbs with drippings from the turkey!  Oh. yes. we. are!

I use equal parts herb bread and cornbread stuffing mixes.  If want to do it from scratch and make your cornbread and toast your herbed bread, more power to you.  

In a large saute pan melt one stick of butter over low heat.  Chop two large onions and a whole head of celery stalks.  Add to melted butter and salt and pepper.  Cook over low heat until for tender.  Add a cup of milk and a cup of heavy cream.

Pour mixture over the stuffing mixtures in a large bowl and mix really well.  Using a ladle add several scoops of turkey drippings to the stuffing until it is moistened completely through.  Let cool for a bit and add two eggs.

Press into a large casserole dish.  Cook for about 45 minutes once your turkey is out of the oven and resting.

So for the gravy.....the best. part. of. the. whole. meal!

In a large sauce pan, melt a stick of butter.  Add a 1/2 cup of flour.  Cook until well combined.  Drain out all the veggies we put in the bottom of the turkey roaster.  Whisk until the gravy thickens.  Perfect gravy every single time.

So...if you have questions, please email me.  I will definitely try to help you make the best turkey ever for your Thanksgiving feast.


Anonymous said...

oooooh, look at how well you fondle that bird! LOL

You know what else? My fave stuffing? ..... Stove Top! LOL Actually its the only kind I like. Im terribe huh?

Ok- I am gonna find a recipe now! =)

Go Mommy said...

I can't do a turkey, I am just not that good, I have only done one and my mom came over to help (then hubs backed into her car)...

You should do a share a spoon for recipes for foods that are in the shape of balls, I need some more round foods for my bunko this month!

Shell said...

Wow, that is A LOT of people for Thanksgiving!

Dh's aunt always makes the turkey b/c Thanksgiving is always at her house in SC. I don't really make anything b/c it's a 6 hour drive down there and we get there the day before. Kinda hard to bring something. Or, that is my excuse. LOL

Babes Mami said...

Yay! I have this bookmarked, I have a couple different turkey methods saved. I'm not a cooker but I really want to cook with The Husband this year.

Natalie said...

Since I'm still a "kid" in my family, I get lucky & don't deal with Thanksgiving. Christmas, however, is a different story. We host the in laws every year. Our first year, I wanted to go all out so I did it all myself including the turkey. I will never do it again. Period.

Ducky said...

I am so hungry now




Me thinks I'd be a bit cranky if you were shoving butter up my kiester like that *snort*

drollgirl said...

i am saving this! i am 40 years old and i have never cooked a turkey! this is a super tutorial!

gayle said...

Great post!! Thanks so much!!

shortmama said...

Yum! Im so ready for Thanksgiving!

Nancy C said...

Seriously? That's food porn right there. Gorgeous.

Must have. My precious.

Kim of Mo Betta said...

Wow that looks awesome! I,ve never cooked a turkey! My mommy still does it:) and I love (out of the bird) stuffing! I have managed to make that before, but it wasn't as good as my mom's!

Donna said...

Is it possible to get the turkey, dressing and gravy recipes in printable form? Looks foolproof and I SOOOO need that. Thanks, love your site.

Donna in Ft. Myers

Michelle Pixie said...

Okay this officially makes me super excited for next week. I just ordered our bird last week from a local farmer and I am for certain going to be using your tips! =)

Brittany said...

You reminded me of my momma cooking here! :) We cook 2 turkeys for everyone we feed. It's great! xoxo I'm so excited for Thanksgiving now! I hope to participate in your Share a Spoon soon!

Anonymous said...

Just catching up...

May I NEVER EVER EVER EVER have to cook the turkey. Ever.

And I don't know how long it's been since you've remodeled the place...but I love the new header!