how to cook a perfect holiday turkey!

happy thanksgiving eve everyone!  i bet everyone has a sink full of thawing turkey right now, and today is a busy day getting ready for thanksgiving.  this is my favorite easy way to ensure a delicious moist turkey every year.  it always turns out.

how to cook a perfect holiday turkey.
  1. buy a turkey.  most turkeys are frozen these days, but if you are getting a fresh turkey, congratulations and you can skip this part.  if it's frozen and you are very lazy, make room for it in your fridge a week ahead of time.  it will be ready in time for t-day.  if you are more of a procrastinator (i like to say i work better under pressure,) start thawing it in cold water in your sink the day before, changing the water and flipping the turkey over every hour or two as you remember.
  2. buy some turkey bags.  the reynolds turkey bags. 
  3. once your turkey is thawed, remove it from the package.  it has a neck cavity and ahem, another one.  the neck cavity is where you will find a long turkey neck and a package of giblets (heart, liver) to be removed.  pull these out and do whatever you need to with them.  i throw them away, but i know many use them for stuffing.  *shudder*
  4. rinse the turkey well inside and out.  dry off with paper towels.
  5. using melted butter (which solidifies as it touches the turkey so it can be a little tricky) or oil, cover the whole top of the turkey, rubbing the oil or butter all over.  season with salt and pepper or whatever spices you like.  you can rub butter under the skin and leave pats of butter everywhere.
  6. stuff the neck cavity with something good.  i have used lots of different things and it always turns out well.  my favorite things to use:  halved onions, apples, oranges, lemons, herbs, celery.  i really like the combination of apples and onion, that is what i am making again this year.
  7. cover the oiled/buttered turkey with paprika.  TONS of paprika.  i included a picture so you can see my turkey loaded up with paprika in every area.  don't skip this!  it makes your turkey golden and gorgeous like a norman rockwell painting!
  8. put 2 tablespoons of flour in the turkey bag, open it up and set inside your roasting pan.  you need a deep pan, at least a couple of inches deep.  you can add some apple, orange or pinapple juice to the bag if you like-  about 2 cups.
  9. put the turkey in the bag, seal it up, slice 6 half inch slits all over the top of the bag, and tuck the top and ends of the bag under the turkey.
  10. put in the oven and cook.  if you have a small turkey you're looking at 2-3 hours, a large one will be 3-4.  most turkeys have a red tab that will popout when it's done, you can watch for that.  your turkey will be golden and moist and deliciously perfect!
enjoy and have a happy thanksgiving!!


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