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My husband never likes turkey, but last year for Christmas the turkey turned out so that everyone thought it was great. It all happened by accident. The electricity was out, so I fired up the wood cook stove. By candle light, we put the turkey in the oven bag. But since it was dark, I didn't notice it was put in upside down. I followed the normal directions with the cooking bag.
When I took the turkey out of the oven (everyone laughed at the fact that it was upside down), it was the moistest turkey ever. So from now on, my turkeys are always upside down! I hope it works for you!
By Beth from Bloomfield, IN
I still like to put my stuffing directly into the turkey cavity. My mother did it for years and so have I and it's perfectly safe. No one has ever gotten ill from this. However, scooping the stuffing out can be quite messy.
I learned many years ago to wrap the stuffing in a layer or two of cheesecloth and then put it in the bird. When the bird is done, I just pull the cheesecloth out, unwrap it and put the stuffing in a dish. The result is a clean turkey. When all the meat is gone, the turkey is nice and clean to make soup.
My hubby discovered long ago the secret to a tender Thanksgiving turkey: moisture. Don't wait for your Thanksgiving turkey to make its own juices for basting. Give it an extra-moist start by adding your favorite broth or bouillon.
We use at least 32 ounces, but you can use more or less according to your preference. If you're out of broth or bouillon, you can make your own brine with plain table salt and water. Low-salt diet? Leave out the salt and use plain water instead.
Don't forget to keep the lid on your roasting pan or "tent" with aluminum foil until the last half hour of cooking time. If you're not sure how long to roast your bird, the rule of thumb I was taught was 20 minutes of cooking time per pound. A 15-pound turkey, then, would need about five hours in the oven at 350 degrees F. Test for doneness by uncovering and trying to wiggle the drumstick. If it wiggles freely, it's done.
Source: My DH, who's taught me a lot about cooking over the years
By Lelia Jo Cordell from Springfield, OH
One way we have found to decrease the time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving and other holidays is to use an alternate source for cooking the main course - turkey, ham, etc.
To enjoy especially moist breast meat, you can cook your whole turkey upside down. This is a guide about cook a turkey breast side down.