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How to Cook a Turkey

Are you hosting a Thanksgiving party and need to know how to perfectly cook a turkey? Fret not, and read the following article for easy to follow guidelines and recipes.
Tastessence Staff
Before knowing how to cook a turkey, understand what size you need to purchase. The ratio to be used is 1 pound of turkey per person.

Prepare Turkey ...

... in the Oven

Ingredients
  • Turkey, 12 to 14 pounds
  • Olive Oil, for Brushing
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Chicken Broth
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Meat Thermometer
Method
  • If you have purchased a frozen turkey, remember to thaw it completely before cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating, remove the turkey from its wrapping. Remove the neck and giblets from inside the cavity. You can use the neck and giblets to make turkey gravy.
  • Now that you have removed the giblets, rinse the turkey inside out with cold water. You may have to spend a little longer on this step. Clean it well to make sure there is no contamination. Use paper towels to pat the bird dry.
  • Place the bird with the breast side up on the pan.
  • Rub salt and pepper all over the body and cavity. Rubbing olive oil on the outside ensures your bird gets the picture perfect brown color.
  • Now cover the bird properly with aluminum foil. You may choose to place one piece of aluminum foil length wise and the other breadth wise. This will ensure that the bird is well covered. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Place the turkey in the pan and pour chicken broth and water around it. You may also choose to put in some seasonings in the broth and water. Put the pan in the oven and let it cook at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The turkey is considered cooked when the temperature on the meat thermometer shows 175 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
... in a Roaster

Ingredients
  • Turkey, as per requirement
  • Melted Butter
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Seasoning
  • Meat Thermometer
Method
  • Make sure you thaw the bird well. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey.
  • Place the bird on the meat rack in the roaster. Then brush the turkey with melted butter, salt, pepper, and seasoning.
  • Set the temperature of roaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a higher temperature than normal at which the turkey is cooked at. This temperature is necessary as roasters cook food faster than conventional ovens.
  • Insert the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh. To cook one pound of turkey in a roaster oven, the cooking time is about 15 to 17 minutes. Once the color is light brown and the temperature in the meat thermometer reaches to 175 to 180 degrees, you can remove the turkey from the roaster.
... Leg

Ingredients
  • Turkey legs (you can choose ones with or without the thighs), 2 to 3 pounds
  • Lemon, ½ piece
  • Salt, 1¼ teaspoons
  • Black Pepper, ½ teaspoon
  • Garlic Powder, ¼ teaspoon
  • Dried Leaf Thyme, ¼ teaspoon
  • Onion (finely chopped), 1
  • Butter, ¼ cup
  • Carrots (sliced), 2 to 3
  • Celery (sliced), 3 ribs
  • Potato (cut into ½ inch pieces), 1
  • Dry White Wine, 1 cup
Method
  • If you choose turkey legs with thighs, cut the thighs with a sharp knife. Rub lemon all over the turkey. Make a mixture of 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme, and rub it on the pieces.
  • Melt the butter on medium low heat in a skillet. Sauté the onion in the butter till it becomes tender. Add carrot, celery, and potato pieces.
  • Grease the baking pan and spread the sautéed vegetables evenly over it. On the vegetable layer, place the turkey pieces.
  • Heat the wine to boiling point and pour it over the turkey pieces.
  • At 400 degrees Fahrenheit, cook the bird for 1½ hours.
  • In case you notice that the turkey pieces are becoming brown, you can cover it with aluminum foil as well.
As you can see, cooking turkey is not rocket science. The only thing you will require is patience and a little bit of practice.