Thanksgiving Day Tips
How to Roast a Fresh Turkey
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Tuck the birds wing backward and under so they do not burn.
Rub turkey with oil herbs and any seasoning (if purchased already brined, just rub with oil)
The bird should be roasted in a pan with a rack. It helps with even cooking, if you don’t have a rack just skip this step or make one out of rolled up foil.
Roast in oven for 15 minutes then turn down to 300 degrees.
Total cook time is 12- 15 minutes per pound and the thermometer should read 160 degrees for 10 seconds between the breast and leg meat; never poke the breast meat directly. The temperature will carry over to 165 while resting.
During the last hour of cooking, add butter and baste every 15 minutes. The butter also helps to make the gravy.
Pull the turkey from the pan and place on a serving platter; tent with foil; allow to rest 30 minutes before cutting.
Thanksgiving Day Tip #1
Make all your sides the day before so they are oven ready the day of, then you are just reheating and saving lots of time.
Thanksgiving Day Tip #2
Once the bird is cooked, turn the oven on 400 degrees. That is high heat, but you will be filling the oven with lots of cold sides, so it will drop the temperature of the oven. And because you are opening and closing the oven frequently, a higher temp works best. Place the sides in the oven by putting the one that takes the longest to cook in the back and shortest to the front. Rotate items as you pull one, making room for the bread, which gets heated last.
Thanksgiving Day Tip #3
Set the table and appetizer table up the night before; also label each bowl, plate etc. for what you want to go in so when someone offers to help it is easy for them to see your vision. Label bowls or tables where you want chips, platters for cheese and crackers, etc. Post-it notes work well!
Thanksgiving Day Tip #4
When you’re done with the big meal, wrap sides with plastic wrap, place a couple close together in the fridge and use a cookie sheet over dishes instead of lids and stack more in your fridge. If sturdy enough, I have been able to stack three layers high to make the most of my refrigerator space.
Thanksgiving Day Tip #5
If you have a stack of cocktail napkins take an unopened water bottle or soda can and spin it on the stack. It will flare out to make napkins easier to grab one at a time.
Thanksgiving Day Tip #6
Once the oven is shut off, I put apple pie in the oven, always with enough leftover heat to warm the pie while we eat dinner.
Thanksgiving Day Tip #7
Tape recipes on your cupboards so they are easy to read and you can see them quickly for the next steps, and they won’t get spilled on by accident.