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Topic: need a recipe

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Subject: need a recipe
Date Posted: 4/23/2011 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2010
Posts: 214
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My wife and I have a bet. I told her I could cook a turkkey dinner and she doesnt think I can.. She says I will give up and call her for help. I need to know how to cook a turkey. I have never done it before. It is a frozen 14 pound turkey. Nobody but me likes stuffing so I won't be making that for the stuffing. I just need to know how to season, and how long to cook. Thank you in advance for helping me win the bet.

Date Posted: 4/24/2011 3:02 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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There's really not a lot to it.  Make sure that it is thawed completely, for one thing.  That may take a few days in the refrigerator.  The only seasoning you may want (but not necessarily required) is salt and pepper.  Dry the turkey as much as you can with a towel inside and out, then sprinkle with salt and pepper, including the cavity.  Roast according to package directions- it should tell you everything you need to know about cooking temps and time.  There is usually a guide that tells you what temperature, and how long for each pound of weight.  You'll want to use a roasting pan with a rack- it should be elevated from the bottom of the pan so that it does not sit in its juices while it roasts.  It is not necessary to stuff the bird, though I usually put aromatic vegetables and herbs in the cavity while cooking- onions, carrots, celery, parsley, garlic, sage. It gives it a nice subtle flavor.  When you notice drippings appearing in the bottom of the pan, baste the turkey with them every 20 minutes or so- this will help brown the bird and crisp up the skin.  Use a meat thermometer to determine when it is done- it should be at least 170 degrees at its thickest point.  Make sure that you let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes after removing it from the oven before cutting into it.  This will help preserve all the juices.

If you need more specific instructions, I'd check allrecipes.com as there are a lot of great recipes there with full instructions.  Good luck!

Date Posted: 4/24/2011 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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Wowie! As above, there's really nothing to it. The biggest problem areas seem to be logistical---making sure it's unfrozen in time (it takes 2-3 days in fridge) and that it will fit in your pan, and in your oven.

Otherwise, just rub some oil over it, season with whatever herbs you like (at least salt and pepper), heat over to 325 or 350, stick a meat thermometor in bird at a meaty part, and take it out when the thermometer says it's done. Let sit for 30 minutes before carving (it will continue to cook during that time so allow for that)

The breast will dry out before other parts, there are all kinds of ways to deal with that (google) but most perople just let it be drier.

Of course this is just the turkey.

If "dinner" means all the side dishes, too, then you're into a whole 'nother arena!

Mary (mepom) -
Date Posted: 5/9/2011 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 1,192
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Last Edited on: 5/10/11 9:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/21/2011 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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my friend used those huge reynold's roasting bags and washed the turkey off and stuffe dit with chunks of onion and stalks of celery -s eems like she cut off the leafy part of the celery and broke the stalks in half and peeled the onion and quarted it and seasoned it with stuff - salt/pepper maybe garlic and poultry seasoning. seems like she rubbed butter on it too. had it in a huge pan and baked it - think she was reading the instructions on the reynolds box.

good luck that's a lot of turkey !