Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Roasted Turkey

After we lost my dad 14 years ago, I was promoted to cook in chief of holiday meals. When I stepped into my mother’s shoes—preparing the Christmas dinner for our ever dwindling family, I was overwhelmed. For several years, I would ask Mother how she fixed this or that, and she would guide me through some of my family favorites. 

Tackling my first turkey was let's just say a bit daunting. A degree in home economics will never take the place of gentle guidance from the master teachings of a mother. Maybe this super simple "how-to" roast a turkey will help someone tackle that first turkey with success. 

I always served my turkey with Cornbread and Southern Pecan Dressing (click for dressing recipe). Pssst! Don't forget to dress up the platter with lettuce, curly kale, apple rings and/or fruit.

Here's my recipe:
1 14-pound turkey
3/4 cup butter
1  teaspoon salt  to taste
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

Here is how I did it:
1. If turkey is frozen, allow to thaw in refrigerator completely. This process may take up to 3 days depending upon the size of the turkey. Remove giblets and rinse turkey thoroughly inside and out with cold water. Pat dry.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 

3. Lightly pack turkey cavity with stuffing of choice. Secure legs with flap of skin around tail. Skewers and truss may also be used to close cavity.

4. Bake at 325º for 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes. Loosen truss and remove skewers to allow thighs to cook completely. Bake 1 to 2 hours longer or until meat thermometer reads 180º. When drumsticks are easy to move, turkey is completely cooked.

Servings: 18

Cooking Times:
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 hours
Inactive Time: 72 hours (while turkey thaws in the refrigerator)
Total Time: 77 hours and 20 minutes

Dietary Analysis:  

  • Items highlighted in yellow should be taken into careful consideration when looking at total food intake for the day. 
  • Items highlighted in green are indicate a low value when considering total food intake for the day.

Calories Per Serving: 105.86
Calories From Fat (80%) 85.02

% Daily Value
Total Fat 9.62g 15%
Saturated Fat 5.38g 27%
Cholesterol 37.72mg 13%
Sodium 144.92mg 6%
Potassium 63.69mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 0.17g <1 font="font">
Fiber 0.03g <1 font="font">
Sugar 0.01g 
Protein 5.06g 10%

Author: Dr. Jacquelyn P. Horne
Copyright: 2012

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