It has become a tradition in our house to buy our turkey from a local market. It is fresh, and I pick it up on Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Typically, I order a 20-22 pound bird and in the past we have gotten one that is close to 20 pounds. This dear bird tipped the scales at a whopping 22.56 pounds. "Tucker" as we affectionately called him is awaiting cleaning.
Here he is all cleaned. I do not stuff my bird with a bread stuffing. Instead I use organges, fresh cut herbs and aromatics such as celery, onions and carrots. This year I didn't put in the carrots. Under the breast skin I put in a paste made from fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, garlic, dry mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. I borrowed it from Ina Garten. I sprinkled olive oil over "Tucker's" back and gave him a good shake of salt and a good grind of pepper. Now he is ready for the oven.
I usually cook my turkey at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes before turning down the heat to 350 degrees for the remainder of the cooking time. Tucker is looking good just out of the oven. His total cook time was 4 hours and 35 minutes. Not to shabby for a big boy. Yes, we always use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.
I was so busy I forgot to take a picture of the turkey once it was carved and plated. Trust me, he was a good one. I hope all those of you who read my blog were able to share a blessed Thanksgiving with your friends and family.
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