How To Prepare Thanksgiving Turkey
If you've never cooked a holiday dinner before, learning how to prepare Thanksgiving turkey for cooking is the first objective you will want to have on your list. The turkey is the most important item on the Thanksgiving dinner menu - it is literally the star of the show. While there are many other things you will need to consider when it comes to a holiday dinner, learning how to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey will go a long way toward helping you make a positive and lasting impression with your guests as a cook.
You will need the following items to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey:
large roasting pan
large food-grade storage bag
Thaw out your turkey. Place your Thanksgiving turkey in the refrigerator, preferably in a second bag to keep any stray liquids, blood, and microbes contained. It should take about three or four days for a frozen turkey to thaw out properly. If you are going to brine your turkey then be sure to take it out of the freezer four to five days ahead of the day you plan on cooking it.
Unpack the turkey. Take the turkey from its packaging and then wash it thoroughly under cold water. Remove the clamps holding the legs together but don't get rid of it. Take out the packaged innards but don't throw it away. Completely rinse the inside cavity of the turkey.
Give your Thanksgiving turkey some extra flavor. You can moisten the turkey by brining it at this point, or by stuffing butter under its skin. You can also stuff the turkey with apples, green pepper, carrots, onions, and celery sticks into the cavity of the turkey to enhance its flavor. Sprinkle olive oil, salt, and pepper on the skin as well.
Close up the bird. Use the clamps to bind the turkey's legs together again, and make sure its wings are tucked in behind it. Place the turkey on the large roasting pan with its breast side facing upward.
Heat up your oven. Set the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Expect to take at least five hours for the average bird to cook.
Be sure to put your Thanksgiving turkey on the bottom rack so nothing leaks or drips on any food below.
The packaged innards of a turkey can be used to make a delicious stuffing.