There are different ways to roast a turkey. My favorite method, though, is long and slow. It is a no fail method in which the meat doesn’t dry out, but is moist and tender and delicious. However, you can’t carve the turkey at the table with this method as it falls off the bone. I always carve it before the meal and place the succulent slices on a platter.
To roast a turkey slowly:
Sprinkle turkey with salt on all sides. Place it in the roaster, breast side up. Drizzle turkey with 1/4 to 1/2 cup butter. Sprinkle your favorite herbs and spices such as basil, oregano, thyme, sage, coriander, onion or garlic powder over the turkey. If you want lots of broth, add a quart or two of water. Just the turkey alone will provide quite a bit of wonderful broth. Cover the turkey and bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees. Then reduce the heat to 200 or 250 degrees. For a 20 pound turkey I put it in the oven before I go to bed and then serve it at noontime the next day.
If you want to roast a turkey quickly, prepare the turkey in the roasting pan the same as in the above recipe. Don’t add water. Baste the turkey occasionally with the juices. Following are the approximate roasting times baked at 325 degrees:
8 to 10 pounds – 4 to 5 hours
10 to 16 pounds – 5 to 6 hours
18 to 25 pounds – 6 to 8 hours
(If the turkey is stuffed, add 5 minutes per pound to cooking time.)
Approximate amount of turkey needed per serving:
Small turkey – 3/4 pound per person
Turkey over 15 pounds – 1/2 pound per person
How about some cornbread stuffing to go with the turkey? It is wonderful smothered in rich turkey gravy. You can put it in the turkey to bake, but it is also wonderful baked in a pan.
12 cups cornbread crumbled
3 c. chicken broth
2 c. half-and-half
4 large eggs, beaten slightly
1/4 c. butter
1 1/2 lbs. bulk sausage (I prefer beef)
2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
3 ribs celery, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tsp. thyme (optional)
2 tsp. sage (optional)
1 Tbsp. salt
Fry sausage in skillet. Saute onions and celery in butter until soft. Place cornbread in large bowl. Add broth, half-and-half and eggs. Toss gently. Add all other ingredients and mix. Pour into a large baking dish (two 9 X 9 pans or one 11 X 17 pan). Bake in a 350 degree oven till golden, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.