I baked my first turkey when I was in my second year of college. It turned out okay, but I learned two important lessons. When I called my mom to find out how to make it, she said (among other things), “You have to salt it real good, inside and out.” In my opinion, that was not good information, so that was my first mistake. The other was that I poked the turkey with a fork periodically to see if it was done. This is a definite “no-no.” When you poke the turkey, it lets the moisturizing juices out of it. So don’t do that!
1 Turkey, any size
Covered Roasting Pan
Remove the interior parts of your thawed turkey (usually found in the cavity and in the neck of a store-bought turkey). I generally cook these items separately for my dog. No one in my family likes to eat them. If you like the giblets, just rinse them with water and toss them in the bottom of the pan. They will be delicious and ready when the turkey is fully cooked.
Rinse the turkey inside and out.
Place the turkey in the roasting pan. Stuff the bird’s cavity with stuffing (recipe below). Sprinkle the outside of the turkey with a little salt and pepper. Cover and place in a preheated oven of 425F degrees and bake for 15 minutes. This seals the juices in the bird. Reduce the heat to 325F degrees and bake the turkey for 20 minutes a pound. Remove the cover prior to the final 20 minutes and return the pan to the oven. These last few minutes help the turkey to develop a nice, browned skin. The legs will start to pull away from the body when it is done.
1 Bag of Pepperidge Farm Traditional Stuffing
1 cup of boiling water
1/2 a stick of butter, melted
3 sticks of celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1-2 Tablespoons leaf sage, crumbled
Mix all the ingredients except the eggs. When the mixture cools, add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Fill the interior cavity of the turkey with this mixture and bake as listed above.