The figure of speech “to talk turkey” means-to speak frankly about the basic facts of a matter. So today…let’s ‘talk turkey’ about turkey.

Most of us buy the frozen ones, so refrigerating our bird up to 4 days before we cook it is necessary for it to completely thaw out. I usually just fill the sink with cold water & ice, leaving it overnight & roasting the next morning.

I actually cook my turkey the day before I serve it. How’s that for cutting down on the Thanksgiving Day stress? I roast the bird very simply, rubbing with butter, & seasoning well with pepper & seasoning salt. Place 2 cups of chicken broth in the bottom of roasting pan, & cover it with a tent of aluminum foil. A meat thermometer is my roasting buddy. When it registers 165 degrees, the turkey is done.

Allow the bird to rest up to an hour after removing from the oven. An electric knife simplifies the slicing & prevents shredding of the meat. (It’s a kitchen tool I highly recommend) The turkey slices are arranged in an oven proof casserole dish.

I pour the pan juices first through a strainer, then skim off the fat. Pour that broth over the turkey & refrigerate. Since it sits in those flavorful juices, the turkey remains moist.

Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday! No surprise there, since GRATITUDE & food are the focus. I just love feeding folks, & focusing on being grateful, well…that flavors every day with joy & contentment!

Note: As I slice the turkey, the bones and skin are covered with water and heated to simmering. I add some roughly chopped celery, leaves and all, an onion quartered, and some pepper. I hold off on the salt just yet.

I simmer this too for an hour or so. You can even do this in the crock pot, and just let it cook all day. Remove all the solids, and strain the broth. Skim off the fat. Add extra chicken soup base if needed to flavor the broth.

This strained, skimmed broth is used to make the gravy. I admit, I cheat a little using turkey gravy packets & this broth, instead of water.

Weight 10-18 lbs, Unstuffed 3-3.5 hours, Stuffed 3.75-4.5 hours

Weight 18-22 lbs, Unstuffed 3.5-4 hours, Stuffed 4.5-5 hours

Weight 22-24 lbs, Unstuffed 4-4.5 hours, Stuffed 5-5.5 hours

Weight 24-29 lbs, Unstuffed 4.5-5 hours, Stuffed 5.5-6.25 hours

The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) at the thigh.

By Sue Murphy

Sue Murphy is a Xenia resident may be contacted at [email protected]. Her Christian radio segments share about her journey and her passion for baking. Find other recipes and more at Find her cookbook at Parker’s General Store on the courthouse square in Xenia.