How to Cook Turkey and Dressing
Some of you will be giving your first Thanksgiving dinner this year. It’s easy to prepare turkey and dressing but you might need a little help if you have never done it before. Here are the instructions to make your basic turkey and dressing. Enjoy it in good health.
It’s Thanksgiving again and some of you are giving your first holiday dinner. If you have never prepared a turkey before it’s the easiest thing in the world to cook. If you need a little help,here are the instructions for the basic Thanksgiving turkey and dressing. Enjoy it with your family in good health.
You will need about 1 1/2 lb. fresh or frozen turkey per person if you hope to have any leftovers.
Thaw your frozen turkey in the refrigerator, allowing 1 day for each 4 lbs. of turkey. The turkey is ready when no ice crystals remain in the body cavity.
Set your oven at 325. If you use a meat thermometer put it in the center of the thigh in the thickest part of the leg. Be sure it doesn’t touch the bone. .
When the turkey is unfrozen, remove the giblets and reserve them for gravy or dressing. Wash them and boil in a large pot of water for the broth to make dressing, gravy or both.
You can stuff the turkey with dressing if you wish. I always cook mine in a separate pan. I also drain all the pan juices from the turkey to go in my dressing or you can make gravy with it if you wish.
If you stuff the turkey, stuff it loosely so the heat can circulate. Line a shallow roasting pan with foil. Lay the turkey on its back with breast facing up. Pull neck skin to the back and tuck it under. Tuck the drumsticks under the band of skin across the tail. If it doesn’t have a band of skin, tie the legs together with heavy kitchen twine. Tuck the wing tips under the back. I rub my turkey all over with a mixture of mustard and butter. Lay a piece of foil loosely over the turkey to keep it from browning too quickly.
When the turkey is done the thermometer will register 180. I don’t use a thermometer. I test it by moving the leg. If the leg moves easily, the meat feels soft when touched with a finger, and a fork stuck in the meaty part of the leg runs clear juice the turkey is done. Remove the turkey from the oven and leave it standing 20 minutes to make the meat slice better.
Dressing: There are many ways to make dressing. I change mime a little every once in awhile but I will give you my basic recipe which is a cornbread dressing.
I make a pan of cornbread the day before and crumble it up. On the day of the dinner, I have my cooked broth from the giblets. I chop up several onions. I like lots of onion. You can add chopped celery, pecans, apples. salt, pepper, and sage. Mix it all up with the cornbread crumbles and add enough broth to hold it all together but don’t get it soupy. Pour into a greased roast pan and dot butter all over the top. Cook at about 350 until its slightly brown on top. If you put this inside the turkey to cook you want it much dryer.