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Thanksgiving Survival Guide

The Basic Stuffed Turkey

November 15, 2000

A beautiful turkey is the glorious centerpiece of a Thanksgiving table. The skin of the turkey should be golden brown and the inside moist and tender.

Yes, there are blackened turkeys and smoked turkeys and turkeys rubbed with herbs and spices. But if you want a traditional dinner, go for a good old-fashioned roasted turkey.

Basic Bread Stuffing

Active Work Time: 20 minutes Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 large onion

1 to 2 cups diced celery leaves

12 cups toasted 1/2-inch bread cubes

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon dried sage or 1/4 cup minced fresh sage

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 cup turkey stock, water or milk

Melt butter in large stockpot. Add onion and celery and cook until vegetables are tender but not browned. Add to bread cubes in large bowl. Add salt, pepper, sage and parsley, and toss until well mixed. Add turkey stock and blend well.

Bake any excess stuffing in lightly greased casserole at 325 degrees until heated through, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Stuffs 1 (12- to 14-pound) turkey, about 10 to 12 servings. Each of 12 servings: 126 calories; 469 mg sodium; 23 mg cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.20 gram fiber.

Roasted Turkey

Active Work Time: 20 minutes Total Preparation Time: 5 hours 50 minutes

1 (12- to 14-pound) turkey, thawed

Salt, pepper

Basic Bread Stuffing or stuffing of choice

Butter, melted

Remove giblet bag from turkey. Check both cavities for extra parts. Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry. Rub salt and pepper to taste into neck and body cavities.

Loosely pack stuffing into neck and body cavities. Do not overstuff. Stuffing expands during cooking. Skewer neck skin to back of bird to hold stuffing in place. Tie legs together with kitchen twine or tuck legs under turkey skin. Tuck wings under bird. Allow 1/2 to 3/4 cup stuffing per pound of turkey. If recipe makes more stuffing than bird will hold, place in lightly greased casserole and bake at 325 degrees until heated through, 30 to 45 minutes.

Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Brush with melted butter. Roast uncovered at 325 degrees 20 to 22 minutes per pound (if turkey weighs more than 16 pounds, roast 18 to 20 minutes per pound), or until thermometer reaches 165 degrees in stuffing (if roasting unstuffed, take temperature in thigh).

Baste with melted butter every 30 to 45 minutes. If bird is browning too fast, tent loosely with foil or cover breast with butter-soaked cheesecloth.

When turkey is done, remove from oven and let rest at room temperature 20 minutes.

10 to 12 servings. 10 servings, without stuffing: 553 calories; 706 mg sodium; 217 mg cholesterol; 31 grams fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 55 grams protein; 0.20 gram fiber.


All equipment, utensils and bowls from Bristol Kitchens.

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