Thirty five years ago when I was first married, we invited my in-laws over for dinner. DH decided I should roast a turkey. Unlike, most of my female friends whom actually learned to cook from their mothers, I had no interest at that time. I think this was a result of being a Tomboy. So therefore, when I got married, I rather suddenly had to either figure out how to cook things myself or call my Mom on the phone for directions. (I did both). I defrosted the turkey in water in the sink and then placed it in the refrigerator. The day of the dinner party, I followed the directions on the turkey label and roasted the turkey. It came out perfect, except for one thing. I wound up roasting the turkey, the stuffing, the giblets bag, the neck and the gravy packet inside the turkey. My Father-in-law was a great home cook and he just shook his head smiling from ear to ear. Both DH and I were laughing about it. After all it was pretty funny.
The recipe below can be made with any boxed stuffing mix, however I use Stove Top Stuffing for Turkey. This recipe enhances the mix producing a sweet and savory stuffing. When stuffing the bird, don’t forget to stuff the front area where the neck was attached. I stuff that section first so I can stand the bird up without the breast cavity stuffing falling out.
- 2 boxes stuffing mix
- 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 16 ounces crushed pineapple (canned)
- 12 pound turkey (defrosted)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Thyme (dry)
- Prepare stuffing as directed.
- Add butter, pineapple, pineapple juice from can, into the prepared stuffing and mix thoroughly.
- After taking out the neck, giblets and gravy packet, I rinse the turkey inside and out being careful not to splash any water off the bird that might contaminate my work surface and then pat it dry with paper towels.
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place bird in a pan big enough so the bird has some space around it.
- Use a second empty bowl to help stuff the bird.
- Use two spoons.
- Use spoon number 1 to place the pineapple stuffing from 1st bowl into the 2nd bowl, and use spoon number 2 to take it out of the 2nd bowl and stuff the bird. (Continue this process until whole bird is stuffed; this process does not contaminate any stuffing that doesn’t fit into the turkey with raw turkey juice).
- Any remaining stuffing, refrigerate until turkey is finished.
- At this point you can truss up the legs and pull the flap of skin over the stuffing. (I skip this).
- Mix olive oil and thyme together and rub over entire bird until the skin is completely coated.
- Place turkey in the oven and roast for 20 minutes at 450 degrees F, then reduce heat to 325 degrees F and roast for 220 minutes.
- Take turkey out of the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes.
- While it is resting, I remove the stuffing and place it in the bowl with any leftover stuffing that didn’t fit in the bird.
- Check the temperature in the thigh, as it should be between 180 – 185 degrees F.
- DH slices it before it gets to the table, whereas my Dad always carves at the table. (Your choice).