Holiday Roast Turkey
Recipe by: Carolyn Kuczynski
The key to the perfect holiday turkey starts with math. We’ll try not to make your head hurt but you may need a cup of coffee to get through this.
In order to determine how big of a turkey you need to buy, you need a head count. I understand that for some families getting a firm commitment from relatives may be like pulling teeth. Once you have your “guestimate,” the general rule of thumb is to figure 1 to 2 pounds of turkey per person. It really all depends on how much leftovers you want to wind up with for both yourself and your guests.
Fresh or Frozen?
How much room do you have in your freezer and how many days do you have left until the holiday? If you buy a frozen turkey, the number of days you will need to properly thaw it in the fridge will be based on the weight of the bird. I like to allow for an extra 12 to 24 hours of refrigerator thawing just to be sure the turkey is thawed. (Yes, I’m paranoid). If your fridge is more packed as it typically is during the holidays, it will stay colder.
To Stuff or Not to Stuff?
This is a matter of personal preference. The important thing to understand is that this decision impacts your cooking time. Personally, I like to do my stuffing separately. Some will argue stuffing outside the turkey is no longer stuffing, it's dressing.
Check out the handy-dandy thawing and cooking charts in the recipe below.