Let’s Talk Turkey (Recipe and Basics)

12-20 lb. turkey

2 sticks melted butter (melt with the syrup and mix well)

2 cups pure maple syrup

1 marinade injector

3 tsp. salt

3 tsp. course black pepper

2 tsp granulated garlic

3 tbsp. olive oil

Buying and Thawing a Turkey

• When buying a turkey, allow 1 pound per adult serving if the bird weighs 12 pounds or less. For larger turkeys, count on 3/4 pound for each serving. If you want leftovers, buy a bird that’s 2 to 4 pounds larger than the size you’ll need for serving.

• Although not all turkeys are labeled indicating whether the bird is a hen or tom, select a hen turkey if you want more white meat and a tom if you want more dark meat. Also check for the “sell by” date on the label of a fresh turkey. This date is the last day the turkey should be sold by the retailer. The unopened turkey should maintain its quality and be safe to use for one or two days after the “sell by” date.

• If you buy a frozen turkey, look for packaging that is clean, undamaged, and frost-free. Allow plenty of time to thaw a frozen turkey. For a whole frozen turkey, leave the bird in its wrapping and place it on a tray in the refrigerator. Plan on at least 24 hours for every 5 pounds and don’t count the day you’ll roast the bird. Once thawed, turkeys will keep one or two days in the refrigerator.

• If you run short of time and the turkey isn’t completely thawed the day you plan to roast it, place the bird in a clean sink full of COLD water and change the water every 30 minutes. DO NOT thaw turkey at room temperature or in warm water — these methods will allow harmful bacteria to grow quickly to dangerous levels. You’ll know the bird is ready for roasting if the giblets can be removed easily and there are no ice crystals in the interior cavity. If the turkey is still frozen in the center, the bird will cook unevenly.

Turkey preparation

Once the turkey has thawed, release the legs from the leg clamp or the band of skin crossing the tail. Also remove the giblets and neck from cavities. Rinse the turkey inside and out, let it drain, and pat dry with paper towels. Mix the salt, pepper, and garlic and rub the entire inside cavity with the mixture. . Tuck the legs under the band of skin that crosses the tail or reset the legs into the leg clamp. Or, tie the legs with kitchen string to the tail. Twist the wing tips under the back. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

Always cook the stuffing separately, because there is no visual test for stuffing doneness. As an alternative, fill the cavity with cut up oranges and apples. This will add an additional dimension of flavor to the bird, while at the same time, keep it moist and juicy.

Fill the injector with your butter and maple syrup mixture. Inject the turkey several times in different places until all of the mixture is in the turkey. Next, rub all surface areas of the turkey with the olive oil. This will keep the skin from drying out and cracking. Additionally, this will aid in the browning process! Insert a meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle so the bulb doesn’t touch bone. Cover the turkey loosely with foil, leaving space between the bird and the foil. Roast covered until final hour. Remove the foil and allow to brown during the last 60 minutes. Roast at 325 degrees F. Allow 30 minutes per pound, using a thermometer to verify a final internal temperature of 180 degrees. Let the Turkey rest 15-20 minutes before carving.

Yield: 12-20 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes (after being thawed)

Cook time: 30 minutes per pound (roasted at 325 degrees)

Cook time : 60 minutes per pound (smoked at 250 degrees )

Cook time: 6-8 minutes Per Pound (deep fried at 350 degrees)