♦Top Turkey Tip:
If you have bought a beautiful local, organic or free-range turkey and it doesn’t have a pop-up timer, you can buy a little plastic disposable timer at most grocery stores for couple of dollars! I LOVE them. They make it very easy to enjoy
your wine your family and keep an eye on your bird.
Renata’s Roast Thanksgiving Turkey Tips
I have tried cooking my turkey many different ways, and to be honest, there’s no one perfect way. I usually do mine like this.
Cook your bird at:
425F for first 20 minutes, uncovered, on a rack if ya have one
325F until done
Everybody has different turkey tricks. Here are mine:
I used disposable pop-up timer on my local/free range turkey, or measure 165F internally with meat thermometer in deepest part of bird without hitting the bone.
Bring raw turkey, prepared stuffing, and a stick of room temperature organic unsalted butter to your counter.
Rinse turkey inside and out, remove parts from cavity. Pat turkey dry with paper towels and place on a platter or cutting board.
With my hands, I smear room temperature organic butter all over turkey, covering breast nicely. I drizzle a little olive oil and rub that into the bird as well.
Next, I channel my inner artist! I sprinkle my bird with any herbs I love. I use dried thyme, salt and pepper. Sometimes I just use plain salt and pepper.
I open the front and back cavities and stuff them full with Renata’s Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing http://www.renataskitchen.com/recipe/renatas-thanksgiving-sausage-and-mushroom-stuffing-recipe/ . (If you don’t like to stuff your bird, then throw something glorious in there like a halved lemon, a couple of carrots, a few shallots, maybe a wedge of orange, mmm!
Hike the stuffed bird on a rack in your roasting pan and pop into lower part of preheated oven, uncovered.
Don’t have a rack? Don’t worry. It will still turn out good just snuggled in the roasting pan.
425F for 20 minutes, then 325F until done. (165F when measured internally, or when that little timer pops up.)
Sometimes I spray the whole bird with just a little bit of Pam vegetable oil for browning. But it’s not necessary. It will get brown just fine as long as you don’t cover it!
I spent many a year basting, basting, basting. Then one year I ran the Turkey Trot and totally forgot to baste my turkey at all. It turned out great. So I stopped basting.
Post Roast Note:
Rest your turkey on counter before carving for 15 minutes. All the juices will be reorganized around the bird and stay sealed inside the meat to stay juicy!
Use that time to get your gravy made, and your last minute side dishes prepared!
The day after Halloween I begin to walk around with an invisible ticker tape floating across my head that says “pick your turkey, pick your turkey, pick your turkey”.
I have floated around for turkey to turkey. I started out with the cheapest one on the block. Then I moved into the world of organic. I managed to stop myself from finding my own wild turkey, snapping its neck, and plucking it clean before brining.
This year I am gonna go back to good old Hollyhock Hill Farms. Their turkeys aren’t organic per se, but they know they practically tuck those birds into bed at night with a bed time story, so I know they are raised fairly well. And they taste GREAT!
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There is only one thing you need to remember to have a wonderful Thanksgiving. It’s a good day to practice those two life-changing words that take you from zero to hero when adversity comes your way. Thank you.
Thank you for my crazy family.
Thank you for burned pies that remind me I am not perfect.
Thank you for a roof.
Thank you for my life.
Thank you for the friends who are my family.
Thank you for the family who are my friends.
Thank you for another crack at that getting that turkey right.
“Every day I wake up in the morning, I open my eyes, and I say ‘THANK YOU GOD!'”
-McGee (My dad’s right-hand-man at Enzo’s Restaurant for about 30 years or so. He lives in the back of the restaurant.)