How to Cook Turkey and Dressing

published by Ruby Hawk on Nov 20, 2009

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.

37 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. # 1 by Teves
    November 20th, 2009 at 5:58 am #

  2. # 2 by drelayaraja
    November 20th, 2009 at 6:24 am #

    Very good recipe. I like Chicken.

  3. # 3 by chitragopi
    November 20th, 2009 at 7:10 am #

    Clear instructions. Thank you.

  4. # 4 by Christine Ramsay
    November 20th, 2009 at 7:11 am #

    A great recipe. I could use it for my Christmas turkey.


  5. # 5 by Lee Ness
    November 20th, 2009 at 7:47 am #

    Very good step by stpe on how to do this with Thanksgiving next week.
    Lee Ness

  6. # 6 by aunslaught
    November 20th, 2009 at 8:48 am #


  7. # 7 by ken bultman
    November 20th, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    This is an important post. Many a new bride has been thrust into the position of preparing the Thanksgiving meal and coming up short. This will be a great help.

  8. # 8 by K.Reshma
    November 20th, 2009 at 9:26 am #

    yummy recipe

  9. # 9 by wonder
    November 20th, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    A great one and the dressing!

  10. # 10 by cutedrishti8
    November 20th, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    looking great….

  11. # 11 by Agnes Chin
    November 20th, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    I always wonder how to do the turkey dressing, at least now I have got some idea from you. thanks!

  12. # 12 by lillyrose
    November 20th, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    great one!

  13. # 13 by Starpisces
    November 20th, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    interesting recipe..

  14. # 14 by martinpm
    November 20th, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    Nice recipe thanks for the share.

  15. # 15 by Snooky
    November 20th, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    Great recipe. My favorite way to cook Thanks giving dinner, Sit in the living room watching football and yell instructions to the cooking students; daughter in law, grandkids etc.

  16. # 16 by Themax
    November 20th, 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    very yummy,Thank you :)

  17. # 17 by Judy Kaelin
    November 20th, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    Nice article, I was taught by my mother. Your instructions are very easy to follow. Happy Thanksgiving – Judy

  18. # 18 by Shirley Shuler
    November 20th, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    Great recipe, Ruby. Thanks for sharing!

  19. # 19 by LOVELYHONEY
    November 20th, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    The only thing
    I am poor to the core at
    Is cooking
    If someone doesn’t cook for me
    And doesn’t serve me
    Perhaps I will not be alive tomorrow
    There would be no poetry

    Some would be happy

    Some and so many sad
    So send me a couple of dishes
    I will be glad

  20. # 20 by Emancipation
    November 20th, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    hey thanks!

  21. # 21 by PR Mace
    November 20th, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    Good one, Ruby and I am sure much needed by some. I am an old hand at cooking the holiday bird by much trail and error. I wish I had had this article when I was younger.

  22. # 22 by Pinaki Ghosh
    November 20th, 2009 at 11:00 pm #

    It is really of great help.

  23. # 23 by mkd1788
    November 20th, 2009 at 11:36 pm #

    nice dinner…

  24. # 24 by martie
    November 21st, 2009 at 12:20 am #

    I know one or two people who can use this article. I sent them the link.

  25. # 25 by Joie Schmidt
    November 21st, 2009 at 12:25 am #

    So nice – I LOVE Thanksgiving!



    -Liane Schmidt.

  26. # 26 by Hansika
    November 21st, 2009 at 12:44 am #

    yummy i will surely try this…thanks mate…

  27. # 27 by Hansika
    November 21st, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    yummy i will surely try this…thanks mate…cheers

  28. # 28 by AlmaG
    November 21st, 2009 at 2:09 am #

    YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  29. # 29 by Poetic Enigma
    November 21st, 2009 at 2:46 am #

    Great article, very useful information. I will have to refer back to this whenever I first cook one. Thanks for sharing.

  30. # 30 by papaleng
    November 21st, 2009 at 2:47 am #

    Though, Pinoys are more at ease with chicken, your recipe may changed our perception about turkeys. I will try this one..

  31. # 31 by Frances Lawrence
    November 21st, 2009 at 6:36 am #

    Very clear and helpful instructions. I don’t think we have cornbread in UK, what is it?

  32. # 32 by Papa Sparks
    November 21st, 2009 at 7:54 am #

    I miss Thanksgiving so much being overseas.

  33. # 33 by deep blue
    November 21st, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    Very well prepared, Ruby. A great recipe to behold this Christmas.

  34. # 34 by CA Johnson
    November 21st, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    Thisi s a great recipe, Ruby. Thank you for sharing.

  35. # 35 by ahmad joko setyawan
    November 21st, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    Wonderful tips Ruby! Will bookmark this for future reference!!

  36. # 36 by Moses Ingram
    November 23rd, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    Good info. Happt Thanksgiving.

  37. # 37 by vb545323
    December 6th, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

    My mouth is watering!

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