Our Trilogy Chefs love Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect time for them to showcase their skills for our residents and their families. Now they’re sharing some of their secrets with you! Whether you're tackling a Thanksgiving turkey for the first time or for the one-hundredth time, our Trilogy tips will ensure your bird is the best it can be.
- Thawing a frozen turkey requires patience. The safest method is to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator, so be sure to plan ahead — it takes approximately 4-5 days for a 20-pound turkey to fully defrost.
- A turkey will cook more evenly if it is not densely stuffed. Consider adding flavor by loosely filling the cavity with aromatic vegetables — carrots, celery, onions or garlic work nicely — you can also carefully tuck fresh herbs underneath the breast skin. For the stuffing lovers, one option is to cook it in a casserole dish on the side.
- Before roasting, coat the outside of the turkey with vegetable or olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and tightly cover the breast with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning (it will be removed later).
- Don't be a peeping Tom (no pun intended)! Once you get the turkey in the oven, resist the temptation to open the oven door and admire your handiwork. When the oven temperature fluctuates, you're only increasing the likelihood of a dry bird.
- Follow this cooking time guideline for your turkey.
*Times represent unstuffed birds. Add 20 – 40 minutes for stuffed turkeys.
8 lb. – 12 lb. cook for 2½ to 3½ hours
12 lb. – 16 lb. cook for 3½ to 4 hours
16 lb. – 20 lb. cook for 4 to 4½ hours
20 lb. – 26 lb. cook for 4½ to 5½ hours
- About 45 minutes before you think the turkey is done, remove the foil from the breast to allow it to brown. Note: A cooked Turkey should read 165 degrees with an instant read thermometer purchased at your local GFS marketplace. Always probe at the deepest point of the breast.
- When finished cooking, tent the bird with foil and let it rest for about 25 minutes before carving. If you need more time to make gravy or heat up side dishes, etc., you can let the turkey sit for up to an hour without losing too much heat.
- Remember to carve as you go so the meat always stays tender and juicy, and always use a very sharp knife.
Most of all, enjoy the holidays with family and friends!
Happy Thanksgiving from Trilogy’s Dining Services Team!