Baking the perfect Turkey!

Posted: November 16, 2008 in Cool Stuff just for you

Ok, as promised, Turkey was on sale for 29 cents a pound at Safeway, so for eight bucks I got a great deal.   I want to show you a sure fire way to cook a Turkey that will dazzle your family and friends.  All that, and how to make way cool gravy.  Are you ready?

mmm mmm.

The Menu:  Baked Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and brussell sprouts.

What you will need:

One Turkey 15-25 pounds
Stove Top or equivalent stufffing
One package of onion soup mix
Two Stalks of Celery
One large Sweet Onion
Potatoes for mashing.
Seasoning Salt
Chicken broth
Brussell Sprouts
1/2 cube of margerine or butter
1/2 cup of flower

Baking pan for Turkey
Casserole dish for stuffing
Steamer for the Brussell Sprouts
Deep pan for gravy
Wire whisk


Ok, let’s start by thawing out the Turkey.  Follow the direction on the wrapper to unthaw your bird.  When it’s all thawed, remove the neck, and the giblets and place in a roasting Rack.

The next step is to cut up your celery in chunks, and your onion in quarters.  Stuff the celery and onions into the cavity of the Turkey, you can add garlic too if you want.

If you have any left over you can put them in the bottom of the pan.  Now you are going to want to season your Turkey.  I use Montreal steak seasoning and Johnies Seasoning salt.  Salt the top and sides liberally. 

It should turn out looking like this before you bake it.

Now for the secret ingredient.  Onion soup mix.  Sprinkle one package in the cavity and over the top of the bird.

Now, add water to the bottom of your pan (four or five cups), hopefully your Turkey is up above the water on a roasting rack. This will help it be better sealed and have crispy outside. 

put some foil on top of the bird for the first hour or so of baking.  Then place in the oven at 350 degrees in convection oven, 375 for non convection oven.

Halfway through the process, check the water level, make sure it still has at least a half inch of water for the drippings to mix into.  We will use those for gravy later.   Don’t let it evaporate all the way out or it will burn, and the gravy won’t taste good.  So keep and eye on it.  For this bird, he was nineteen pounds and we cooked it three hours.  So an hour and a half into it we looked like this:

At this point I removed the foil from the top and baked it another hour.  I checked it every 15 minutes or so.  Put your thermometer into the thigh or breast and look at the reading.  It’s done if it hits 160.

The finished product should look something like this:

A nice little close up


We will talk about carving in a moment, but right now, we want to let the Turkey stand out of the oven with the foil resting on the top.  Let it sit for about 25 minutes to rest.  This allows the juices to cook the turkey all the way and the meat stays moist.

About an hour before the Turkey is estimated to be ready to carve you can dice up some onion and celelery and add it to your stove top stuffing along with some mushrooms.  Add some chicken broth and half a cube of butter or margarine.  Stir the liquid in and get ready to put it in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Trust me it looks better when the liquid is added.  🙂 

Now when carving the Turkey I was taught an old trick.  Here is how it works.

I usually start by removing the wings and then I use the knife by the top of the breast bone and cut the entire breast off in one chunk.  Like this:

If it is done just right, it will almost fall off.

Flip it over cut side down, and then cut along the grain of the meat into slices.  Slide your knife underneath the cut breast and simply transfer to your platter or plate.

Continue to cut the rest of the meat off of the bone and put on a platter.  I usually arrange it in dark and white meat.  Sometimes I even put the whole turkey leg or wings on the platter too.  Some people like them.  My fave is the turkey wing.  YUM!

Now that your stuffing is ready and your meat is carved it’s time to put some foil over the meat and put it back in the oven on very low heat while you make your gravy. 

Gravy isn’t as hard as it seems.  The trick is to have a good wire wisk and to not to let it scorch or burn on the bottom.  While your turkey has been cooking it has dropped a lot of it’s juices into the bottom of the pan with the water and onion soup mix that you have sprinkled over it.  Take that juice and put it into a deeper pan. 


Then if you have cooked potatoes for mashed potatoes, don’t drain the water off in the sink, use it in your gravy!  Like this:

Stir the mixture and put your burner on medium high heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil and add 1/2 cup of flour mixed with water.  (If it’s mixed with water then it doesn’t cause lumps in your gravy.)

Once the mixture is boiling, whisk in the flour and water.  Let it boil for about a minute and check for the desired thikness.  If it’s too thick, then add more water, if it’s too thin, then add more flour and a little bit of water.

Now continue to whisk it so that it doesn’t scorch.  After it thickens to the desired consistency, then take off the burner and season to taste with salt and pepper and seasoning salt.  Pout into a gravy boat or container and get ready to serve it with your turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.

I had some fresh brussell sprouts that I picked up at Safeway, dropped them into the steamer and served them up fresh with dinner.  Very yummy with a little bit of butter and salt.

They turned out nice, and added a nice color to the plate.

Ok, invite some people to the table, bless the food and thank Jesus, and there you go, a pretty much perfect Turkey dinner!  MMM MMM!  The whole meal cost under $20 to make and served 10 people.

Let me know what you think!

  1. Vickie says:

    Rick, I think you’ve found yet another great talent that God has blest you with! The pics and explanations are great and you make it look oh so fun and yummy! I bet Amy is thoroughly enjoying having her honey cook such nice meals. Wishing you all a great week!

  2. Sarah says:

    Uncle Rick.. yet again quite impressed. If you are like me, its a stress reliever to be in the kitchen and its just relaxing and a ton of fun! Its a wonderful feeling to bring a great meal onto the table for family and friends. I did a new meal from Rachael Ray’s Show this last Wednesday. It was a hit, you’d love it. Sourcream and Onion Mashed Potatoes, Turkey Stuffing Meatloaf (amazing!) with some sauteed green beans.. and Grandma Ena’s Danish Puff Pastry for dessert. So good. We had our Assoc Pastors over and had fun. Hope you and Amy are just continuing to rest in God’s goodness during this change in season in your lives.. He is always faithful and won’t let you down. Love you guys!

  3. Sherri says:

    Wow and wow. That is beautiful. I think I already said this, but you should be doing a cooking show or something. I really love the pictures so you aren’t wondering what it’s supposed to look like!

  4. trekkygeek says:

    Wow Rick, that looked so tasty, you truly are a man of many talents. Even the sprouts looked delicious, and I hate sprouts. Any room at the inn over Christmas? LOL

  5. Marlene says:

    Okay, I can really, really relate to the “things learned” about your pellet stove, Mom has the wood stove going too, & it gets, might I say, “a tad warm in there:0)”….Oh, by the way, Jim got a 3 pt buck on Saturday(in Montana) God Bless you dear friends!

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