Whether you are tackling the Thanksgiving turkey for the first or the hundredth time, there are many decisions that have to be made, and selecting the right turkey begins the process.
Do you want a fresh or frozen turkey? Fresh turkeys need no thawing and are ready to cook. Frozen turkeys can be purchased weeks in advance, but require several days to thaw. A quick rule of thumb for thawing is to allow one day for every four pounds of turkey. A 12-lb. turkey will take three days to defrost in the refrigerator; however, in a cold water bath (never hot), it takes only 6 hours.
How many are you going to feed? The basic rule is to allow ¾ lb. per person. A 12-lb. turkey will feed five adults and two children with a little left over. That is, if they aren’t all big eaters.
The day before the day of roasting, unwrap the turkey and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator for a crisper skin. Plan on 20 minutes per pound in a 350°F. oven for a defrosted turkey and 10 to 1...
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