How To Cook a Turkey

Lucas Merrill and Evan Martin

With Thanksgiving around the corner, families are preparing for their main dishes. Dishes cannot be complete without the use of recipes, and there are so many recipes to choose from. What recipe should you focus on most though? Should you focus on a turkey recipe, stuffing recipe, mashed potato recipe? Well why not focus on the turkey? The most traditional dish of a Thanksgiving dinner.

To start off, for ingredients you will want to have your turkey of choice as well as fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage. You will want onions, garlic, lemon, butter, salt, and pepper as well. For equipment you will also need to have a roasting tray of any quality, any type of thermometer like a probe thermometer which is left in the turkey, a sharp knife, and a small bowl. Cooking a turkey seems to be dreadful for most people due to the thawing time, cooking time, and the amount of preparation you have to do . There are many simple recipes out there and this is just one of them. 

Next you need to consider how many people you will be serving. Are you serving eight people or twenty people? Well lets just say you are serving eight people, so you will want to buy a ten to twelve pound turkey as one and a half pounds of turkey serves one person. Do not forget to thaw your turkey as well, it takes around 24 hours per five pounds, so to thaw a ten pound turkey you will need to thaw it 48 hours in advance. There is also no need to wash your turkey as the bacteria will be killed in the oven, and do not cook your stuffing in the turkey, as said by Lisa Bryan on, “And besides, it’s better to fill the turkey with aromatics and herbs that give it flavor and moisture.”

To start preparing the turkey, let it rest for one hour after thawing. After  that remove the giblets found around the neck. Next pat dry the turkey with a paper towel removing any moisture. Then season the insides of your turkey with salt and pepper, then fill the cavity with quartered onion, lemon, and your herbs. Next you will make your herb butter. To do so, stir your butter, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme in a small bowl. Once they have mixed together, spread the butter all over the turkey. Take about 1/3 of this mixture and spread it evenly under the skin. Then use the rest of it on the outside.

Finally you get to cook the turkey! To start, place the turkey on either a roasting rack or on a bed of veggies. After that, for a ten to fourteen pound turkey, you will want to cook the turkey for two and a half hours to three and a half hours. Make sure you do not cross the turkey’s legs when you cook it. Once you have let it cook, let it rest for 30 minutes and you now have yourself a cooked turkey for Thanksgiving!