Roast Turkey and Basic Stuffing 

  • 1 whole turkeypoultry seasoning 
  • Softened butter or olive oil
  • salt and pepper 

If turkey is frozen allow time to defrost bird in the refrigerator or defrost in water following directions on bag in which turkey was purchased.  Do not thaw a frozen turkey be letting it sit out on a counter. 

Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey cavity and discard.  Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.  Place turkey on rack in roasting pan with the breast side up.  Either smooth the softened butter over the turkey skin or using a brush to spread olive oil over the turkey skin. Sprinkle poultry seasoning, salt and pepper over the outside of the turkey and inside the turkey cavity. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place turkey into oven and roast until skin is lightly browned.  Cover with foil and continue roasting.  About 45 minutes before turkey is done remove the foil and allow the skin to continue browning. 

Although some turkeys come with a pop-up timer to indicate when the turkey is done, it is best to use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, be sure not to touch the bone.  You need to roast your turkey until the thermometer registers 180-185 degrees. 

When turkey is done, remove to a large serving platter.  Let the bird rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. 

To safely store the leftover turkey, remove all the meat from the turkey bones and either discard the carcass or freeze it to make soup later. 

Approximate times for roasting a turkey are: 

If turkey is not stuffed 8-12 pounds approximately 2 ½-3 hours, 12-14 pounds approximately 3-3 ½ hours, 14-20 pounds approximately 3 ¼-4 ½ hours and 20-24 pounds approximately 4 ½-5 hours.  If turkey is stuffed the roasting time will be longer.  For an 8-12-pound stuffed turkey roasting time is approximately 3-3 ½ hours, 12-14 pounds approximately 3 ½-4 hours, 14-20 pounds approximately 4-4 3/4 hours, 20-24 pounds approximately 4 ¾ to 5 ¼ hours. 

If you plan to stuff your turkey, fill the turkey body cavity loosely with the stuffing. If you prefer not to have the stuffing in the bird you can bake the stuffing in a buttered baking dish for approximately 45 minutes or until the top of the stuffing is crisp and brown. 

Basic Recipe for Stuffing 

  • 1 1 lb. loaf white bread
  • ¾ cups butter or margarine 
  • 1 medium onion, diced`
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped 
  • 2 teas poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey broth 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Put bread slices on counter and allow bread to dry, approximately 1-2 hours.  Tear bread into pieces.  In large heavy pot heat butter or margarine over medium heat.  Add onion and celery and cook until soft.  Add poultry seasoning and salt and pepper.  Stir in the bread and be sure everything is well combined.  Moisten the stuffing with the chicken or turkey broth.  Mix well, chill for a few minutes and either stuff into turkey cavity or place in buttered baking dish. 

If stuffing is cooked inside turkey remove the stuffing when turkey is taken out of the oven or as soon after that as possible.