Pangloss, it helps if you think of that turkey as just a very large chicken. loll. Have you ever cooked with poultry before? It's not that hard, really. I tend to cook by feel, so I rarely time or measure...
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While cooking time may vary depending on the strength of your oven, the general rule is 20 minutes per pound for a defrosted turkey and 10-15 minutes per pound for fresh. The easiest way to keep track of your birdís inner heat is to stick a meat thermometer into the spot where thigh meets carcass before you bake at 325-350įF. When the temperature reaches 180įF, youíll know that the meat is nice and sweet and ready to eat.
that has some good info and links to recipes too. I see Unf gave you some good tips too. He's right about the sage and rosemary. You could add a bit of thyme too maybe.
re stuffing - die hard old school cooks will tell you to stuff the bird, but I think the general consensus nowadays is to make the stuffing separately - cooking it in the bird can lead to bacteria problems - plus I find it makes the stuffing a bit too moist.
There's scads of recipes for stuffing out there, it depends on whether you want a nice basic 'grandma's stuffing' recipe, or something a bit more 'gourmet' with dried fruits or other variations.
Potatoes - roasted with herbs or mashed - either are delicious with a good turkey gravey.
Veggies - anything goes, I think. My family like green beans almondine with turkey dinner, steamed brussel sprouts are also good, and mashed turnip with a bit of nutmeg, butter and brown sugar.
btw, it shouldn't be necessary to take a couple days off work. lol. If you can have the stuffing made and ready to cook the day before, and the potatoes and other veggies peeled, chopped, and covered in water the evening before, all you have to worry about the day of the meal is actually cooking.
Dessert - it's wide open. If you are going for traditional Christmas dinner, a pumpkin pie would fit the bill, but we find nobody's really up for a heavy dessert after a big turkey dinner - maybe something light like a mousse would be better?
Anyway, enjoy your turkey adventure, hope you'll let us know how it all turned out.