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The Story of Your Dinner: Roast Turkey

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Published on Oct 16, 2017

The star of Thanksgiving dinner, it's important for your turkey to be cooked to a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria that may cause foodborne illness. Follow our instructions to achieve a delicious, golden brown turkey cooked to perfection!

RECIPE

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Start by washing your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. Wash your cutting boards and counter tops with hot soapy water. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. After removing turkey from its packaging. Do not wash the turkey! Washing raw poultry can spread bacteria around the sink and other surfaces.
3. Remove neck and giblets packet, and reserve them for making stock or gravy. Free legs from clamp.
4. Season inside with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. For added flavor, fill the cavity with aromatics such as an orange, cut in half, a quartered onion and/or fresh thyme or sage.
5. To allow the turkey to roast more quickly and evenly, plan to cook your stuffing in a separate pan.
6. To brown the bird, brush skin with unsalted butter or olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Another option is to mix unsalted butter or olive oil and fresh herbs together and apply the mixture under the skin.
7. Secure legs in clamp and tuck wing tips under. Place turkey, breast side up, on V-rack set inside a two-inch deep roasting pan. Wash hands after handling the raw turkey.
8. Use the chart to determine estimated cooking time for your bird. Cooking time will vary by size of bird and function of your oven. Transfer pan to the oven. Cover breast with aluminum foil and roast one hour.
9. After one hour, remove the foil and reduce oven temperature to 325 F. Continue roasting based on the cooking time chart. Use a food thermometer and check the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. Turkey is cooked to a safe internal temperature when it reaches 165 F in all places checked. If the bird has not reached 165 F, return it to the oven. Wash the food thermometer probe section with hot soapy water. Then test again every ten minutes until the turkey reaches 165 F.
10. Once cooked to 165 F, remove turkey from the oven. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes. If you wish, reserve the turkey drippings to make gravy. Use or freeze leftover turkey within 3-4 days.

For this recipe and more, visit storyofyourdinner.org.

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