Many a Thanksgiving novice thinks he or she can handle taking on a whole dinner alone.
Sure, its seems easy enough: mash some potatoes, bake some stuffing, boil some cranberries, cook a bird.
While each of these tasks can be easily done on its own, for a properly executed meal, it's all about the timing. The one thing most beginners mess up is getting the turkey in the oven at the right point.
FYI: it can take all day to cook.
Fortunately, for those who are a bit pressed, quicker options do exist. To help you get it together in an expedient fashion, Larry Gebaide of Tastebuds Catering has given us some tips on preparing a two-hour turkey.
Before doing prep, the first step in any Thanksgiving meal is to ensure your turkey has been properly thawed.
According to Gebaide, "When buying a frozen turkey it is best to keep refrigerated for two to three days to thaw naturally".
This recipe is for a 20-pound turkey.
Turkey in Two Hours
Step One: Pre-heat your oven to 475 degrees. Remove all gizzards from inside the turkey and rinse it inside and out with cool water. Dry it off with paper towels.
Step Two: Take two cups of all purpose flour and add four ounces of granulated garlic, four ouncess of paprika, and six ounces of Kosher salt. Mix it in a bowl.
Step Three: Spray bottom of turkey pan with Pam or another cooking spray. Place the turkey in the pan and evenly distribute the rub on the outside of the bird, ensuring to get the areas under the wings and drum sticks.
Step Four: Add four cups of warm water to the inside of the pan, but do not pour over the turkey. There should be about one inch of water. Place turkey in oven, uncovered.
Step Five: After 30 minutes, add one more cup of warm water and pour over entire turkey to moisten.
Step Six: After another 20 minutes remove turkey from oven. Baste the turkey with natural juices from the bottom of the pan using a ladle. Return to oven.
Step Seven: After another 20 minutes baste the bird again using the juices at the bottom of the pan. At this point the ends of the turkey wings and drum sticks may start to turn darker; if so, wrap tips of the wings and bone part of the drum sticks with tin foil.
Step Eight: Now, 70 minutes later, take turkey out of the roasting pan and place it in another greased pan. Pour the drippings into a separate container.
Step Nine: If you want to stuff the turkey, do it now. Use the extra skin to cover the opening. Baste turkey again with the separated drippings. Using a meat thermometer, check the deepest part of the breast for the internal temperature -- the turkey should be between 100 and 110 degrees.
Step Ten: Lower temperature to 400 degrees.
Step Eleven: Place the bird back in the oven and check on the temperature and color every 10-15 minutes; the goal is 155-160 degrees.
Step Twelve: Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature, pull it from the oven and let it rest until it's cool enough to handle.
Step Thirteen: Carve and enjoy!
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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