TONY’S TOP TEN TURKEY TIPS – T5
1. MAKE YOUR LISTS!
a. Guest List
d. Review timing for preparation of each dish – what can you do in advance?
e. Plan beverages: wine, beer, ciders, coffee, soft drinks, sparkling water, etc. Make sure to check your liquor store’s hours, as many are closed on Thanksgiving Day.
2. PREPARE THE REFRIGERATOR and storage containers for leftovers.
3. BUY THE TURKEY well in advance of Turkey Day.
a. This should be done at least 3 to 4 days in advance of the dinner if buying frozen to allow ample time for thawing.
b. If you plan to cook a fresh turkey, place your order 3 to 4 days in advance.
c. How much turkey do you need? Rule of thumb: Allow one (1) pound of uncooked turkey per guest.
4. THAW THE TURKEY!
a. If buying a frozen turkey, you will need to allow ample time for thawing. CLICK HERE for Tony’s Turkey Thawing Guidelines.
b. NEVER thaw at room temperature. If is always best to thaw the turkey in a refrigerator, whenever possible, but a cold-water method can also be used. It takes less time with cold water, but is not as safe as a refrigerator.
5. COOK THE TURKEY
a. Cook at 350’F for approx. 15 to 17 minutes per pound.
b. If the turkey is also stuffed, add an additional 30 minutes of cooking time.
6. USE A MEAT THERMOMETER to ensure that the turkey is thoroughly cooked. Once the turkey has reached its cooking time, you will need to take two temperatures to test for doneness.
a. Insert a meat thermometer into the breast – the temperature should be 165’F.
b. Next, insert the thermometer into the thigh of the leg for a reading of 180’F.
c. IF you stuff your turkey with dressing, you will also need to insert the thermometer into the stuffing for a reading of 165’F.
7. ALLOW THE TURKEY TO REST for 30 minutes after removing from the oven. This will help to retain its moisture.
8. SHARPEN YOUR KNIVES! A proper carving knife is the best utensil for carving a turkey, and a sharp knife is a safe knife. As I always say, the most dangerous item in your kitchen is a dull knife!
9. USE PORTABLE STEAM TABLES to hold side dishes to ensure that everything is hot when the turkey is served.
10. COOK SOMETHING ITALIAN!