With turkey being the main attraction of the feast, the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® offers expert advice, tips and suggestions. Just call 1-800-Butterball (1-800-288-8372).
Turkey Tips From Butterball®
To thaw your turkey, place it in the refrigerator, allowing at least one day of thawing for every 4 pounds. If your turkey is still frozen and you’re running short on time, submerge the bird in cold water and allow 30 minutes of thaw time for every pound of turkey.
The recommended method for cooking turkey is the open pan roasting method using a flat rack in a shallow pan so the turkey cooks evenly. If you don’t have a flat rack, take a long sheet of heavy-duty foil and roll it, then wrap it into a circle and place it in the pan under the turkey. The foil will keep the turkey off the bottom of the pan, ensuring air flow for even cooking.
Nobody wants to bite into an undercooked piece of turkey, so always check the internal temperature of the bird to ensure it is properly cooked. The turkey should reach 180 degrees in the thigh, 170 degrees in the breast, and 165 degrees in the center of the stuffing.
Leftover turkey should be refrigerated within 2 hours.
Roast Turkey With Mediterranean Rub
1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds), thawed if frozen
1 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup ground dry lemon peel
4 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons sea salt
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon dry oregano leaves
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Rinse turkey under cool running water; pat dry with paper towels. Turn wings back to hold neck skin against back of turkey. Place turkey, breast side up, on flat rack in shallow roasting pan.
Roast turkey for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cover turkey breast loosely with foil to prevent overcooking and overbrowning. Continue roasting for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees when inserted into the deepest part of the thigh and 170 degrees when inserted in the breast.
While turkey is roasting, combine remaining ingredients to make a rub. Mix well and set aside.
When turkey is cooked through, remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle with herb mixture and rub over entire turkey. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
Editor’s Note: Rub mixture can be made in advance, but for best results, use it within 24 hours.