Recipes: Basic Turkey

  • Updated: November 14, 2012 - 12:30 PM

Also: Mustard-Sage Turkey and Orange-Pecan Stuffing

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First time with a turkey? You'll be an old pro in no time.

Photo: Rita Reed, Star Tribune file

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BASIC TURKEY

Makes variable amount.

Note: Choose a turkey that suits your number of guests. Plan on 1 pound per guest.

• 1 whole turkey (see Note)

• Salt and pepper

• 1 carrot, halved, optional

• 1 rib celery, halved, optional

• 1 onion, halved, optional

• 1 lemon, halved, optional

• 1 bay leaf, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. If you are using a frozen turkey, make sure it has been thoroughly thawed, and don't forget to remove the plastic bag of giblets. Season the turkey, inside and out, with salt and pepper.

Put carrot, celery, onion, lemon and/or bay leaf in the cavity. A small or medium-sized bird might not have room for all of these elements.

Before putting the turkey in the oven, determine how long it will take to cook. A turkey weighing less than 16 pounds will need about 15 minutes per pound. A turkey weighing more than 16 pounds will take about 13 minutes per pound. If you have put vegetables in the cavity, it will take a little longer.

Place the turkey in a roasting pan, breast-side up. If the pan has a rack, fill the bottom of the pan with 1/2 inch of water. Cook in oven for 1 hour. If the skin is turning too brown, cover it with a tented piece of aluminum foil. If it isn't brown enough, continue roasting breast-side up a little longer.

Carefully turn the turkey breast-side down. If the skin starts to turn too brown, cover with a tented piece of foil. Continue roasting until a thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees or until the thigh moves freely in its joint and the juices run clear. Remove from oven, keep warm with a tented piece of foil, and let rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

 

MUSTARD-SAGE TURKEY

Makes variable amount.

Note: Choose a turkey that suits your number of guests. Plan on 1 pound per guest.

• 1 turkey (see Note)

• Salt and pepper

• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter

• 4 garlic cloves, minced

• 2 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped, or 2 tsp. dried sage

• 3 tbsp. Dijon mustard

• 1 carrot, halved, optional

• 1 rib celery, halved, optional

• 1 onion, halved, optional

• 1 lemon, halved

• 1 bay leaf, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. If you are using a frozen turkey, make sure it has been thoroughly thawed, and don't forget to remove the bag of giblets. Season the turkey, inside and out, with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sage, and cook until garlic has mellowed, about 1 minute. Stir in mustard until thoroughly mixed together. Brush the mixture all over the turkey.

Put carrot, celery, onion, lemon and/or bay leaf in the cavity. A small or medium-sized bird might not have room for all of these elements.

Before putting the turkey in the oven, determine how long it will take to cook. A turkey weighing less than 16 pounds will need about 15 minutes per pound. A turkey weighing more than 16 pounds will take about 13 minutes per pound. If you have put vegetables into the cavity, it will take a little longer.

Place the turkey in a roasting pan, breast-side up. If the pan has a rack, fill the bottom of the pan with 1/2 inch of water. Cook in oven for 1 hour. If the skin is turning too brown, cover it with a tented piece of aluminum foil. If it isn't brown enough, continue roasting breast-side up a little longer.

Carefully turn the turkey breast-side down. If the skin starts to turn too brown, cover with a tented piece of foil. Continue roasting until a thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees or until the thigh moves freely in its joint and the juices run clear. Remove from oven, keep warm with a tented piece of foil, and let rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

 

ORANGE PECAN STUFFING

Serves 8.

Note: Adapted from the Associated Press.

• 10 oz. sweet or hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed

• 1/4 c. white wine

• 2 tbsp. butter

• 1 large sweet onion, diced

• 2 ribs celery, diced

• 1 tsp. ground coriander

• 1/4 tsp. chili powder

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

• 1/2 c. dried cranberries

• Zest and juice of 1 orange

• 11/2 c. chicken broth

• 6 c. stale bread cubes

• 3/4 c. toasted chopped pecans

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the turkey sausage until browned and cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks. Add the wine to the pan and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Add the butter, onion and celery, then cook until the onion is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the coriander, chili powder, salt, pepper, dried cranberries and orange zest and juice. Continue to cook for 2 minutes to develop the flavors. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, pecans and parsley, and meat mixture from the pan. Toss until well mixed. Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole. This can be done up to 2 days in advance (cover with plastic and refrigerate). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 300 Fat 18 g Sodium 790 mg

Carbohydrates 26 g Saturated fat 5 g Calcium 72 mg

Protein 9 g Cholesterol 22 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1/2 other carb, 1 high-fat meat, 2 fat.

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