Why you might want to cook your Turkey early!
This is an encore post from a few years ago. The information still applies and I hope it helps you prepare for your upcoming holiday! It takes one more stressor out of your plans!
Many folks are intimidated with cooking a Turkey. I certainly was the first time I attempted it. After I was done, I remember thinking....'what was I afraid of?"
I cooked a Turkey yesterday. I try to reduce the stress of the actual holiday....so that I can enjoy it as well. Here is the method I use and find that it works well. I hate being the only one who isn't in a position to 'play' before the big feast. I decided to do this because my husband carves the turkey before we serve it anyway so the presentation is not a big deal
Yes, I am using my Roaster Oven again. So, I laid out the rack on the counter. See the little blue box. In my world, this is a 'must'. Get the Oven Cooking Bags for Turkeys. They are totally worth it.
Take your thawed Turkey out of the wrapping. If you are buying a frozen Turkey, let it thaw in your refrigerator for several days. This is a very safe method to thaw your bird. Rinse the bird.
Remove the neck and giblet packets from the neck and little 'butt' opening. Rinse the cavities. After rinsing, I often salt the cavities.
I cut up onion, apples, and always add citrus. These help keep the meat moist and flavorful.
Fill the cavities with these. You can also add herbs such as Rosemary as well.
Follow the directions on the box of the Oven bags by putting in flour and shaking it in the bag.
Tie the legs closed to keep your content inside the cavity. You can also use toothpicks to keep the other cavity closed.
Place your Turkey in the bag. I placed the bagged Turkey on the rack and then carefully loaded it into the Roaster Oven. You can place you Turkey in your Standard Oven at this point as well.
Put water into your oven as well, set the temperature gauge, put the lid on, and wait until it is cooked. You hopefully can see the little red 'dot' on the Turkey. I am a big proponent of using these little gauges. Why? they not only ensure the Turkey is cooked, but you may also be surprised at how fast your Turkey can cook not only in the bag, but also in the Roaster. The combination can cut some time off the process.
On the day of Thanksgiving, I use my Roaster Oven to warm the Turkey meat inside another Cooking Magic bag with a big of water. The meat is still moist and delicious. You can make gravy with the drippings ahead of time and warm it either in a crock pot or in a saucepan. Then I serve it to to everyone!