Happy Thanksgiving Eve Everyone! Today’s post is almost a letter to my younger self. The Mindy who five years ago volunteered to host her first Thanksgiving dinner and didn’t have a clue. The Mindy that apologized repeatedly to her turkey as she covered his skin in butter. I seriously had no clue what I was doing. This was all before the Pinterest boom, so I had nothing to rely on except Foodnetwork.com. Thank goodness for Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa). I adapted her recipe and she didn’t fail me. I owe her for my Thanksgiving confidence.
First off, you need to figure out how long this sucker is going to need to cook for. I always hear of people waking up at like 3 AM to put their turkey in the oven. Power to those people. No thanks though. I consulted ButterBall.com and found the best thing. Calculators on their site! Type in your amount of guests and if you are big eaters or light eaters and it will tell you how much turkey and stuffing you need (it even calculates if you want leftovers!). There’s another calculator that tells you how long your frozen turkey will take to thaw. There’s another that calculates how long your turkey will need to cook for (and you can check off a box if you plan on stuffing your turkey because cook time will vary depending on that). Un-stuffed turkey roasts more evenly and takes less time. Click here to check out the calculators. It’s awesome. (This is NOT a sponsored post, I’m just passing along this helpful link).
This year I’m making a massive one, clocking in at 24 pounds. I bought a fresh turkey so I don’t need the thaw calculator. I discovered that my turkey will need to roast for 4-4.5 hours.
Here’s how I roast mine
1 fresh turkey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
4 tablespoons unsalted (1/2 stick) melted butter
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, onion, quartered, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the wingtips with foil. Roast the turkey according to your ButterBall calculations. Cover the breast loosely with foil until the last 45 minutes of cook time to avoid burning. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with foil; let it rest for 20 minutes to seal in juices. Slice the turkey and serve hot.
Happy turkey day everyone!!!