How to Stuff and Cook a Turkey

If this is your first or twentieth time to cook for Thanksgiving, this tutorial will provide interesting facts and hints to help you along the way. Always check your label and follow directions provided by the manufacturer.

Here are your five (5) steps to making the perfect stuffed turkey-

Step 1: Thaw the turkey. This may sound simplistic but many a bird has been undercooked due to it still being frozen. Follow directions on the label to determine the safest way to thaw.

Step 2: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare ingredients for stuffing. This can be done a few days in advance if you will be rushed for time on turkey day. Use your own recipe or find one in a cook book or online. Most recipes call for the five (5) basics-onions, celery, butter, bread, and spices. Chop up the amount that you need of the vegetables and store in the refrigerator until time to cook.  Follow the directions for the recipe and set aside.

Step 3: Remove the giblets and wash the turkey. Giblets can be used to make gravy, so set them aside if you prefer to use them.  Check both cavities to make sure that everything is removed! Place the turkey into a shallow roasting pan.

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Step 4: Stuff the turkey. Using a large serving spoon, loosely shovel the prepared stuffing into both the body and neck cavities. At this point, most cooks choose to sew up the open ends or truss them up with pre-attached gizmo’s from the manufacturer. It’s a good idea because it keeps the stuffing inside the bird during cooking. Cover turkey loosely with aluminum foil. Note: a lot of cooks like to slather either oil or butter on the bird before covering but it is not required.

Step 5: Put turkey into preheated oven and bake according to directions on the label. Die hard turkey fans swear that basting with the collected juices in the roasting pan is a must but it is not required. Do remove the foil about 30 minutes before the end of cooking time to brown the turkey. If the wings start to burn put a bit of foil on the tips to protect them.

That’s all it takes to make a delicious stuffed turkey! When done, just scoop out the stuffing, carve the turkey and serve with your favorite side dishes.

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