I usually cook birds up to 24 pounds for Thanksgiving. The actual cooking time is determined by the size of the bird. I figure on about 15 minutes per pound depending on the oven. Every oven I have ever used has cooked the bird in different times, so I’m really experimenting each year. The beauty of a turkey is that it won’t hurt it to cook a little longer after it is done 🙂
Zowie is insisting that I cook the bird this way myself, because I do it how she likes it best. Really, I think a lot of people make it pretty much the same way, but I like to humor her.
NOTE: I don’t stuff the bird. We don’t eat stuffing, and we make the boxed stuff on the cooktop for company.
red or white potatoes
- Rinse the bird, taking off any lingering feathers. Place this into a roasting pan that will give you extra room for vegetables later on.
- Pull the bag of turkey parts out. Don’t forget the neck. (We take the parts out of the bag, and place them back into the bird.) (We cook them and then feed them to the cats with some vegetables.)
- Take a sharp knife and cut slits in the skin of the bird here and there. Push pats of butter into the slits.
- Fill the pan about 1/2 way with water, cover, and put this into the oven. I don’t preheat. I bake on about 375* to 400*. I use aluminum foil if the cover won’t fit over the bird.
- Every half hour, pull the bird out and baste it.
- Start Cleaning all the vegetables 1 1/2 hours before the bird should be done. Cut out any bad parts; peel if desired. (I peel everyone elses’ potatoes, but not my own.) Quarter the potatoes. Cut the carrots into thirds or fourths.
- The next time you take the bird out to baste, place the vegetables around it in the pan.
- Continue cooking the turkey, basting at the half-hour mark. After another half-hour, the bird should be about done.
- Some people also add celery, but none of us will eat it cooked.
- A stuffed turkey will take longer to cook.
- Use vegetables from the garden to save money.
- Purchase turkeys on sale.
For our Thanksgiving meal we are serving: The turkey and vegetables, corn and peas, cranberry sauce, rolls and butter, stuffing, gravy, pumpkin bread, apple cinnamon bread, cinnamon swirl bread, lemon poppy seed bread, apple pie, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, fruit punch, Pepsi, Coke, eggnog and mulled cider. I think that is it 😀
(Update 2017) The Thanksgiving meals I make these days are on the healthier side, without sodas and sweet breads. Though I will still make cheesecake and/or a pie.
What do you have on Thanksgiving? Any good recipes? Please share in the comments for this post.