Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Recipes

By: Melissa Baker

Recipe courtesy of TasteOfHome.com

Step-by-Step Turkey Roasting

  1. Remove giblets that are usually stored in a packet in the neck area of the bird. Use for preparing broth if desired. Remove and discard any large pockets of fat that may be present in the neck area.

  2. For whole poultry, drain juices and blot cavity dry with paper towels. Currently, the USDA does not advise washing poultry before cooking. If you do, after removing the turkey, wash the sink with hot, soapy water or sanitize with a mild bleach solution of 1 teaspoon chlorine bleach to 1 quart of water. This will help prevent cross-contamination to other foods that are washed in the sink.

  3. Rub the inside of cavity and neck area with salt.

  4. Place breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

  5. Brush the skin with oil or melted butter.

  6. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the thigh area of large birds, not touching bone. (Or for large or small birds, use an instant read thermometer before you return it to the oven.)

  7. Roast, uncovered without liquid, according to the temperature and time given in the chart below or in your recipe. The roasting times provided in the chart below are for defrosted poultry that is refrigerator cold.

  8. If poultry browns too quickly, tent with foil.

  9. Because turkeys will continue to cook after being removed from the oven, remove them when the internal temperature is 5 degrees below desired doneness.

  10. Cover with foil and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before removing any stuffing and carving.

Turkey Cooking Times

The roasting times provided in this chart are for defrosted poultry that is refrigerator cold.

Type of Poultry (Unstuffed)WeightCooking Time (Minutes Per Pound)Oven Temp.Doneness
Turkey, Whole8 to 12 lbs.15 to 20325°170° to 175°
12 to 14 lbs.15 to 17325°170° to 175°
14 to 18 lbs.14 to 16325°170° to 175°
18 to 20 lbs.13 to 14325°170° to 175°
20 to 24 lbs.12 to 13-1/2325°170° to 175°
Turkey Breast, Whole4 to 6 lbs.22 to 30325°165°
Turkey Breast, Half1-3/4 to 3-1/2 lbs.35 to 40325°165°
Turkey Breast, Roast1-1/4 to 1-3/4 lbs.45 to 60325°165°

* For stuffed birds, add 15 to 45 minutes to the roasting time. Temperature of stuffing should read at least 165° 

Southern Corn Bread Stuffing

Recipe courtesy of www.TasteOfHome.com

8 cups coarsely crumbled corn bread
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
Turkey giblets, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups chicken broth


1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine first 10 ingredients.
2 In another bowl, whisk eggs and broth.
3. Add to bread mixture; stir until moistened.
4.Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
5. Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned and a thermometer inserted near center reads 160°.

Yield: 10 servings.

    Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake
    Recipe courtesy of www.TasteOfHome.com


    1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)
    1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened, divided
    1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
    4 eggs
    1 cup canned pumpkin
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

    GARNISH: Chocolate syrup, caramel ice cream topping, whipped topping and additional crushed gingersnap cookies, optional


    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2.Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
    3. In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs, pecans and butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan.
    4. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

    For filling:
    1. In a large bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth, about 2 minutes.
    2. Beat in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time until smooth.
    3. Add remaining sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.
    4. Place 2 cups filling in a small bowl; stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remove 3/4 cup pumpkin filling; set aside.
    5. Pour remaining pumpkin filling over crust; top with remaining plain filling. Cut through with a knife to swirl.
    6. Drop reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls over cheesecake; cut through with a knife to swirl.
    7. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake 55-65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull.
    8. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes.
    9. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.
    10. Refrigerate overnight.

    Garnish with chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, whipped topping and additional crushed gingersnaps if desired.

    Yield: 12 servings

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