There’s no basting with this recipe, which I think helps to make it fool-proof. It’s also much more convenient. Once you get it in the oven, it’s pretty much good to go. I like being able to concentrate on other things once the turkey is in the oven. And not constantly opening the oven door.
I’ve noticed that it always seems to take much longer for the turkey to cook than what the guides on the wrappers say. The turkey in this recipe was a 16.5 pound turkey. Per the wrapper, it should have cooked in about 4.5 hours. It took six. I don’t think my oven is that far off when it comes to temperature. Since cooking time varies so much by weight, I usually add about an hour and a half to two hours on to what the wrapper says when I’m planning what time to put it in the oven. I check on it at the end of the longest suggested time (if the wrapper says 4 - 4.5 hours, I check it as 4.5 hours), but it has always needed the extra time.
Don’t forget to give it plenty of time to thaw if you’re using a frozen turkey. I bought a 22 pound turkey for the big day this year, so it’s going in the fridge on Sunday to begin thawing. The last thing you want is a partially frozen turkey in the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning.
The measurements for this recipe are for a 16.5 pound turkey. You’ll probably need some more vegetables if you’re cooking a larger turkey. Whenever I find that I’ve chopped more vegetables than I can stuff in the turkey, I just put the extras in the bottom of the roasting pan. It just adds more flavor. I like this combination of vegetables because I think the celery adds a lot of moisture, and the onions and carrots pack a lot of flavor. And you can’t go wrong with butter.
The wine adds some nice flavor, and the water and wine together help keep the turkey moist. It also makes for some amazingly delicious pan drippings.
You can use the vegetables in your dressing. Rice is a Thanksgiving staple for us, and the vegetables are delicious in that as well. I usually just add a few spoonfuls of the vegetables to the pot when I’m cooking the rice. Because you’ll have a lot of pan drippings you can use them in rice (just replace part of the water with them), gravy, and dressing. It’s all delicious!
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 stick of butter, kept cold until you’re ready to use it
1 Tbsp dried parsley, plus a little more for sprinkling
Salt & pepper to taste
2/3 cup white wine
2 cups water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remember to adjust your oven wracks first if you need to. (It’s a lot easier when they’re cold!)
Open turkey package, and remove neck, giblets, and any plastic holding the legs together (leave the pop-up timer, though). Place turkey, cavity side up, in a large roasting pan.
Combine all of the vegetables in a bowl. Chop 2/3 of the stick of butter into small cubes, and add to the vegetables. Add 1 Tbsp parsley, and a few sprinkles of salt and pepper. Mix well.
Stuff the vegetables inside the turkey. You want to really pack it full. It’s okay if they’re spilling out. If you have any left, just put them in the bottom of the pan.
|This is how it should look just before you cover it.|
Lightly sprinkle the turkey with salt, pepper, and parsley.
Pour the wine and water into the bottom of the pan.
Cover the pan with foil. You want the edges of the pan to be tightly wrapped, but allow room at the top. Kind of tent the foil, so it’s not actually touching the turkey at the top.
Bake for 4.5 - 6 hours. Like I said, my oven always takes a lot longer than the wrapper says. Check on it at the end of the wrapper’s recommended time. It’s done when the pop-up timer is out and/or when you can make a cut where the leg meets the body and the juices run clear. If in doubt, cook it a little longer. That’s the beauty of this recipe. The turkey isn’t going to dry out.
Try to talk someone else into carving the turkey, and enjoy!