Traditional roast turkey
Roast turkey usually forms the centrepiece of Thanksgiving in the United States. There are many recipes and methods for cooking whole turkeys. Below is one of the simplest and therefore one of the most traditional.
Cooking turkey and stuffing involves the risk of salmonella poisoning. To prevent this, cook the turkey to 185 degrees Fahrenheit and the stuffing to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, avoid cross contamination by keeping raw turkey away from all foods and wash your hands thoroughly after handling it.
The most effective way to measure food temperatures is with a digital meat thermometer.
- 8kg (18 pound) whole turkey
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1.5 quarts homemade turkey stock or canned chicken stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 160° C (325° F - gas 3), [fan oven 140° C & reduce cooking time by 10 mins per hour]
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the rack in the lowest position of the oven.
- Remove the neck and giblets.
- Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan. Rub the skin with softened butter, and season with salt and pepper.
- Fill the body cavity with stuffing.
- Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of one thigh.
- Position an aluminium foil tent over the turkey.
- Place the turkey in the oven, and pour two cups of stock into the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Baste the entire turkey every 30 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan.
- Add stock to the drippings as they become dry, about one to two cups at a time.
- Remove aluminium foil tent after two and a half hours.
- Roast until the meat reaches 185 degrees Fahrenheit and the stuffing reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This should take about 4 hours.
- Serve immediately.
- A comprehensive guide to roast meat cooking times - give the time you want to carve your roast and we'll give you a timed step by step roasting guide
- A large selection of stuffing recipes
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