TURKEY TIPS and MORE! First of all.... HOW MUCH turkey do you need? The best calculation is 1 to 1½ pounds per person. This will give your guests a few trips back for more with ample left-overs. (Stay tuned for LEFT OVER MADNESS in the next email!) Do I buy my turkey FRESH or FROZEN? That is really up to you, but FRESH is BEST. When purchasing a FROZEN bird, be sure to allow ample time for thawing. Thawing your bird: Thaw in refrigerator 2 days! Do not wait till the last minute and DO NOT thaw on counter! This can be EXTREMELY dangerous where bacteria are concerned! However, if life throws you a curve and you cannot get the turkey many days ahead, there is another alternative... Fill your sink with COLD water and place turkey in sink. Thaw at 30 minutes per pound, changing water frequently so that it remains COLD. This is an acceptable thawing method approved by the FDA. What do I roast the turkey in? Use a HIGH-SIDED roasting pan with handles. The sides prevent the juices from making a mess in your oven and the handles enable you to carry and move the bird around. A roasting pan with a V-shaped rack inside would be best, so the air circulates around the turkey for even roasting. My turkey comes out of the oven juicy, but when I carve and serve, it's DRY...There are several things you can do to prevent DRY Bird Syndrome! 1. Cover the Breast portion with a strip of foil and let it remain there until it is 45 minutes from being done. The breast is on top and gets VERY brown...this is what dries out. Covering it with foil will protect it. The last 45 minutes will be enough time to brown the skin without drying out. 2. DO NOT BASTE! I know how much youy want to keep subjecting your head to 350Â° bursts, but for MAXIMUM moistness, cook your poultry at a constant temperature. Opening the oven causes the oven's temp to fluctuate. Oil or butter the skin and then roast! This helps turkey self-baste. 3. Use a GOOD Oven thermometer! This is the ONLY true way to determine doneness. (Pampered Chef has 2 thermometers, an instant-read themometer and a Digital thermometer.) recommended temps: Breast - 170°-175°F Thigh - 180°-185°F If stuffing bird, the stuffing should be 180Â°F. If when the turkey is done and your stuffing is not, simply remove the stuffing from the turkey and return it to the oven to finish baking. To Truss or not to Truss Trussing is: to arrange for cooking by binding close the wings or legs of (a fowl) THIS is not recommended! The leg ans thigh need hot air circulating around them in order to cook at the same rate as the breast. Roasting time and temp.... Ideal roasting time should be 30 minutes per pound @ 325°F 20 minutes per pound @ 350°F A time to cook and a time to rest..... After a hot, sweaty day of working the yard, nothing sounds better than an ice cold drink and a chair! Coming in to do more work would make it TOUGH on me! The same goes for the turkey you remove from the oven. When planning for your meal's serving time, be sure to allow enough time for the turkey to REST. Remove turkey from the oven and allow it to rest 20 minutes to and hour. (I recommend a minimum of 30 minutes.) This allows all of those juices that were bubbling at the top to recirculate and redeistribute to the rest of the bird....another KEY to preventing DRY BIRD SYNDROME!