Tips for making your Thanksgiving Roasted Turkey
- If you don’t want to stuff your turkey, make the stuffing and cook it separately as dressing. If so, then ‘stuff’ the turkey with one orange or lemon, one head of garlic, and one onion, all cut in half or quartered. Also salt the cavity generously with sea salt.
- If you have a roasting pan with a rack, set your turkey on the rack and this in the bottom: 4 cups water, one onion (quartered), the turkey neck and gizzards. By the time the turkey is done, you will have a nice stock to use as your base for gravy. Or just simmer this on the stove while your turkey is cooking on the rack.
Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing
Remove neck and giblets from turkey and use for making stock. Sauté onions and celery in butter in a large skillet until softened. Mix with bread crumbs, seasonings and chopped chestnuts. The stuffing may be made ahead of time, but you should wait until you are ready to cook to stuff the turkey.
Stuff the neck cavity loosely and use turkey skewers to close. Strew sliced onions in a large roasting pan. Set a rack over the onions and set turkey on the rack. Rub skin with salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 hours, basting frequently.
Remove the turkey to a carving board. Sprinkle flour in the drippings and cook over a medium flame about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add stock and blend with a whisk. Bring to a boil and cook several minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain gravy into a saucepan and allow to simmer for 1/2 hour or so until it reduces and thickens. Stir in optional giblets. If gravy gets too thick, thin with a little water..