Roasting a turkey is one of those things that seem to be really hard, but not that bad. Basically, it's like frying an oversized chicken. As long as you follow the same general practices that are scaled to size, of course, you should be able to get a nicely roasted bird on the table without any problem.
Suppose, however, that you have never roasted a chicken . At least that was my special situation when I first hosted the Thanksgiving dinner. At the time, I was a trainee in a fancy food pub, and I'd been checking every editor for the whole week before T-Day, which I came across for their turkey roast know-how. One said to me, "If you've ever roasted a chicken, you're fine." Immediately I panicked because I had never roasted a chicken before! How could I make a turkey successfully if I had not even done that?
In my new turkey terror, I spent hours searching the Internet for all the advice I could find. In the end, my bird was okay. The meat was tender, the juices made a great sauce and all my guests were completely satisfied. Sure, the skin was not as tanned and crispy as I would have liked, but I've learned by now how to make sure it always happens ̵
When I finally roasted my first chicken, it was a lot easier than I ever imagined. Probably not least thanks to what I learned from making a turkey. Regardless of whether you did it or not, I am proof that you did not have to roast a small bird to successfully make a big one. Here are all the tips and tricks you need to roast a turkey, by experts from Whole Foods Market and my personal experience.
To determine what size you should buy for turkey, use this simple method trick.
Before you can roast your turkey, you have to buy it, and before you buy it you need to find out how big it should be. Theo Weening, Whole Foods Market's global meat buyer, tells SELF that you only pay £ 1.5 per guest. This may seem like a lot to a person, but it does take into account the overweight they do not eat from the bones and the extra left over, so in the end it should be just the right amount. He says the turkeys range between 6 and 22 pounds, so you should not have a problem finding the right size for your number of guests.
And if you feed a crowd, the pros say you might want to buy an extra turkey breast.
If your amount is going to be really big – so big that you're considering two turkeys – buy an extra breast instead, says Weening. According to Bon Appetit you should buy a bone-sized turkey breast as the bone keeps the meat tender longer, which means the leftovers will be moister and spicier than the breast meat cutting off the turkey quickly Bone dries up.
Buy frozen turkeys at least three days in advance.
If you buy a frozen turkey, this will obviously need time to thaw. And since it's much larger than what you normally defrost, it will take longer to completely defrost. According to USDA small turkeys (4 to 12 pounds) may need one to three days in the refrigerator, while large turkeys (20 to 24 pounds) may need up to six.
Weening says there is a way to accelerate the process if you have little time. Make sure it is sealed in an airtight container so it does not get wet (a large plastic bag should work), and then immerse it in cold tap water. Make sure that the water always stays cold. Otherwise, there is a risk that your turkey will fall between 40 and 140 degrees in the temperature range. And since you need about 30 minutes in the water per pound of turkey, defrosting in this way requires constant attention for most of the day. If you can buy your turkey in advance to let it thaw in the fridge, do it anyway, but if that's your only option, it'll work in no time.
Although you can usually find fresh turkeys if you want, you only need to know where to look.
While fresh turkeys are not sold everywhere, you can find them at specialty markets or at your local butcher. Weening says Whole Foods Market's customers prefer fresh frozen turkeys, so they are always in stock during and before Thanksgiving. They are a bit more expensive than a basic frozen butter ball, but require no labor-intensive defrosting. So if you have limited time and do not want to babysit turkey in a bathtub, consider this route.
If you have your turkey, this is all else you need.  Molly Siegler of Whole Foods Market's culinary development team tells SELF that the most important appliance you absolutely must have is a large frying pan – she says that disposable items are fine if you do not want to make an investment You also need a meat thermometer to check that the turkey has reached a safe temperature after eating.
Although not absolutely necessary, it also recommends the use of a grid. It will help your bird get crisper because it keeps it above its juices instead of dipping in it. If you have none and do not feel like buying one, she says, you could get away without turkey roast, the skin will not be that crispy.
The first time you roast a turkey, forget about the dry roast and wet roast and just keep it with a salt and pepper massage.
At this time of the year, the Internet is full of dry-drying guides and wet brushes of Thanksgiving turkey. When roasting turkey for the first time, stop this noise and keep your spice nice and simple. "If you have a good turkey," says Siegler, "all you need is salt and pepper." I use this super simple recipe from the Barefoot Contessa since the launch.
Season your turkey eight hours to two days before you want to fry it.
The further you prepare in advance The more time it takes to spice up the bird, soften the flesh and dry out the skin. This is the secret to getting this crispy tanned appearance. Salt plays a major role in this process as it absorbs most of the moisture from the skin (which is no different than healing with salt!). In fact, recipes that require more salt than spices result in an overall crisper skin.
If you season it, make sure you get under the skin all the way.
Rub your spice absolutely throughout turkey: on the skin, under the skin, in the cavity and so on. You may need to use a little force to separate the skin from the flesh, but it's worth it.
Leave your bird in the fridge for several hours. Let it rest outside the fridge for 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.
To keep the bird from drying out, leave it uncovered in your fridge for a few hours before frying it. This will drain any remaining moisture. Then Siegler says you should leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting. "It will cook more evenly if it does not go straight from the fridge to the oven," she explains.
Use the turkey stomach and neck bone to make livestock and stuffing.
I ran and hid when my dad would do It Pull the gizzards out of the turkey on Thanksgiving. Now I enjoy the activity. I love to use these extra parts of the bird, because I get the impression that wasted nothing . Not to forget, they give my party a ton of taste. I use the bones and heart in my broth, which gives a bunch of my dishes flavor. I also like to cut the liver pieces and actually add them to my filling. It sounds pretty disgusting, but it tastes amazing (it gives the whole thing a taste like pate!).
Before you put it in the oven, you still have to do a few things.
The other secret to making sure your bird turns brown? Fat. Butter and olive oil are most commonly used for roasting turkey. Olive oil makes a crispy skin, because it has less water than butter (remember, moisture is the thief of crispiness). But nothing is as buttery as butter.
No matter which style you choose, cover the whole bird inside and out – and that gets under the skin! Then fill the cavity with aromas like citrus fruits, herbs, garlic and onions. These ingredients ensure that your turkey is spicy everywhere. Do this all before putting your bird in the oven.
Depending on the size of your turkey, it will take at least three to four hours in a 350 degree oven before it is ready.
Siegler requires a 14-pound turkey to roast for at least three hours at 350 degrees before it's ready for consumption. The bigger your bird is, the more time it will take. If you have passed these three hours, it may be difficult to know exactly how long you need to cook. Instead, Siegler says you should rely on a meat thermometer. Check your bird every 30 minutes after the original three hours have passed. Put your thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh (but do not touch the bone!). When it reaches 165 degrees, it can be eaten.
Let it rest for 30 minutes before carving it.
When your turkey comes out of the oven for the first time, it's way too hot to handle. If you let it rest for 30 minutes, you can cool it down so you can carve it properly, and it gives the turkey time to absorb all the aromas and juices that have dissolved.
Carving is not easy, but with some tips (and YouTube videos) you should not have a problem.
"The best way to get the most out of turkey is to cut the pieces of meat off the bone and then cut each piece for easy serving," explains Siegler. "Use a very sharp knife and a two-pronged fork to stabilize the turkey, cut the skin between the breast and leg, push the leg away from the turkey and cut it through the joint to completely separate the leg. Use your hands to turn the leg away from the turkey to locate the connection and repeat with the other leg. "
If you need visual guidance, watch this video. You may need to watch it a few times (I know I did).
Separate the turkey from the guests . You know, if it does not go as planned.
According to Siegler, you should separate the turkey in the kitchen from your guests. "That makes it easier for you and your guests," she explains. As much as people think they want to disguise this beautiful bird and see it on the table, the reality is that they probably just eat it. And carving takes time. Do it in the kitchen before you bring it to the table. That way, if you're fooled, which you'll probably do the first time around, you will not have ten guests staring at you.
Even if your carving job is not perfect, lay the bird out of a tray with lemon slices and herbs. They will make the whole thing look beautiful. Even if it's just OK, your guests will not be smarter.