How to Cook a Perfect Turkey
By cooking the turkey with the breast-side down, it prevents the skin of the breast from getting too brown and over-done. It also allows for a much juicier turkey.
You will need the following ingredients to roast your turkey:
One – 15 pound turkey
One lemon – cut into sections
One bunch of celery tops and bottoms
One half of a yellow onion – peeled and quartered
Sprigs of Rosemary & Thyme
One orange – cut into sections
To prepare the turkey:
First remove the neck and the giblets from the cavity of the turkey. Now wash the turkey under running water. Be sure to rinse out the cavities and to remove any left-over feather stubble’s from the skin. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Take a handful of salt and rub the inside of the turkey’s cavity with it. Place the onion quarters, orange slices, lemon slices, and the celery tops and bottoms inside the turkey’s cavity. Close the turkey by securing it with metal skewers. Rub the melted butter all over the outside of the turkey, paying attention especially to the breast area. Sprinkle the outside of the buttered turkey with salt and pepper. Place the turkey with the breast-side down into a roasting pan. Place the sprigs of rosemary and the thyme on the outside of the turkey in the pan. Let the turkey cook in an oven temperature of 400 degrees for the first hour. For the next 2 hours, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and allow cooking. For the next hour to hour and a half, reduce the cooling temperature to 225 degrees. If you would like the breast to be brown, simply turn the turkey over and let it cook the last 20 minutes of roasting time at 300 degrees. Start taking the temperature of the turkey about 30 minutes before it is to be done. The temperature you want to see is 160 to 165 degrees. Allow the turkey to stand in a warm place after removing it from the oven before carving. Carve the turkey with the breast-side up.
When using the meat thermometer, be sure to take the temperature by inserting it into the thickest part of the thigh. Make sure it does not touch the bone or you will not get an accurate reading.
Tips: By cooking the turkey with the breast-side down, it prevents the skin of the breast from getting too brown and over-done. It also allows for a much juicier turkey.
A 12 to 15 pound turkey will feed 10 to 12 people, a 15 to 18 pound will feed 14 to 16 people, and an 18 to 22 pound turkey will feed 20 to 22 people.