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So you've got a turkey, are you hungry?

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

There are so many options with your meals for Thanksgiving time cooking. Mashed potatoes topped with cranberry sauce or maybe the gravy and turkey. Rolls made into mini sandwiches with a plethora of options to choose from. This is a great time for anyone to be a chef in the kitchen and really show their stuff. We like to get a turkey every now and again for our household, mostly for our puppies but one is found to be allergic to poul8 so not as much these days. Still there are some fun ways we like to make our bird for the holiday, and we would love to share!

Basics for roasting times for the USDA say that poultry, both light and dark, is safe to eat when cooked to a internal temperature of 165*. However, we like to cook it to a temperature of 180* in the thigh and 170* in the breast.

*** Do not rely on the plastic pop-up timers that come with your turkey! Use a meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer to check doneness.

Turkey Weight In Pounds Total Time

Unstuffed 8 to 12 2 3/4 to 3 hrs.

12 to 14 3 to 3 1/4 hrs.

14 to 18 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hrs.

18 to 20 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hrs.

20 to 24 4 1/2 to 5 hrs.

24 to 30 5 to 5 1/4 hrs.

Stuffed 8 to 12 3 to 3 1/2 hrs

12 to 14 3 1/2 to 4 hrs.

14 to 18 4 to 4 1/2 hrs.

18 to 20 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 hrs.

20 to 24 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hrs.

24 to 30 5 1/4 to 6 hrs.

After figuring out what your temp. and time will be you'll need to get to work. Depending on if you bake, brine or fry will depend on how you'll season the turkey. We like to bake being the cold season and here are a couple of things to make in advance. . .


Smoke and Spice Turkey Rub

2 teaspoon poultry seasoning (see note)

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked spanish paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoon olive oil

In a small bowl, combine poultry seasing, sea salt, celery salt, thyme, onion powder, paprika, black pepper and allspice.

In a small saute pan on medium high heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Ad mixed dry spices and saute for 30 seconds, stirring, just until mixture is fragrant. Don't let the spices burn. Pour the mixture back into the bowl and cool to room temperature.

Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Smear all of rub mixture over the turkey's skin, making sure to get under the wings and drumsticks.

Roast the turkey according to your favorite recipe, or select the times above according to your wight.


If you don't have poultry seasoning, to make 2 teaspoons, in a small bowl combine 3/4 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp crushed or rubbed sage, 1/2 tsp dried marjoram, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

Brown-Butter, Tangerine and Shallot Compound Butter

8 tablespoons butter, softened (divided)

1/4 cup minced shallots or onions

1 1/2 tablespoons packed grated tangerin or orange zest

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small saute pan over medium high heat, heat 4 tablespoons of the butter until melted and toasty golden brown. It will start to have a nutty smell, be very careful not to burn the butter! Immediately add the shallots and remove the pan from the heat. Stir the mixture until the shallots are soft. Add the zest, thyme, salt and pepper, pour into a small bowl and then let the mixture cool in the refrigerator.

Once cool, add the remaining 4 tablespoons softened butter and work the mixture together with a fork until creamy and uniform, making sure no large chunks of butter remain.

On a flat surface, place the turkey breast side up. Starting at the tail end of the turkey, work your fingers under the turkey's skin, gently loosening the skin away form the meat all the way around. Be careful not to tear the skin so take it slow. Then use your fingers to spread the butter mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, under the skin, until all the butter is used.

Place the turkey on roasting rack in a roasting pan. Roast the turkey according to your favorite recipe or use our chart above by weight.


We like to use both of these recipes together, talk about a delicious juicy turkey with a crispy skin!! The meal is delicious and now you have all kinds of leftovers to tend with. Do you eat the same thing for a month, which is fine if that is what you like roll with it. Or do you get creative? Let's get creative with some of those leftovers.

Turkey Hash with Bacon

For a flavor boost, add any browned bits of turkey or gelatin left in the roasting pan to the skillet when you add the chopped turkey. For Red Flannel Hash add 1 pound of cooked and diced beets (in about 1/3 inch pieces) after the cream. To streamline cooking and washing up, simmer the beets whole in the same cooking water as the potatoes, using a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to the colander when they are done.

1 1/2 - 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

TT salt

2 bay leaves

4 - 6 ounces bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces

1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

2 - 3 cups chopped cooked turkey

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

TT fresh ground black pepper

TT whole-grain mustard

Cover the potatoes with water by 1 inch in large saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon salt and bay leaves and bring it to a simmer over medium high heat. Cook until easily pierced with a knife or fork, about 5 to 10 minutes, drain well in a colander and discard bay leaves.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in large seasoned or non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer browned bacon to paper towel lined plate, drain off and reserve all but 2 tablespoons rendered fat from the pan. Add onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer it all to a large bowl.

Add potatoes and turkey to the bowl, stir to combine them and drizzle cream over top. Add reserved bacon fat to the skillet and heat over medium. Add the potato and turkey mixture to the skillet and let brown without stirring, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in bacon and parsley, if using, season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately accompanied by mustard.

Curry Turkey Salad

This is great in a sandwich or wrap, on crackers, over white rice or a green salad or on its own. Use dried or whole fresh cranberries, raisins, walnuts, pecans or pine nuts!

2 cups diced cooked turkey

1 stalk celery, diced

1 cup halved seedless grapes

1 cup chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons curry powder or to taste

TT cayenne pepper

TT salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine turkey, celery, grapes, nuts and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Stir with a large spoon to evenly distribute the mayonnaise. Add the curry powder and stir again. Add cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.



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