Talking Turkey - and get all of your turkey questions answered here!
In November of 2013, before I started my blog, I had an opportunity to present a recipe to the local area via KSEE24 News. It was the morning show meaning I had to get up and cook not one...but two turkeys! And the team would arrive for filming at 4:30 am.
But...I am ahead of myself. Let me back up a bit!
We had just came home from Florida - while in Florida, I wasn't feeling well. I had a terrible earache and on the way home, my ear drum burst. It was very painful.
Well when we got home the first thing I did was sit down & watch the news. They were looking for on air volunteers to cook Thanksgiving Food and of course I thought of my Holiday Turkey Recipe!
I immediately submitted my recipe for consideration, then went to the Doctor (remember the ear thing?) and came home to find out I was chosen!
And they would be at our home tomorrow!
At 4:30 in the morning...
Oh my gosh, I had two concerns.....what would I tell my hubby and what would I wear? 😀 Such a girl....
Well I immediately went to the store - picked up two fresh turkeys and all the ingredients. Set my alarm to get up bright and early to put the first turkey in.....at 2:30 in the morning!
The KSEE24 team arrived; Matt Otstot and camera man George, right on time at 4:30 and at 5am we were broadcasting from our kitchen - live television. It was super fun - the guys made us feel right at home and we had a blast.
Here's a rule of thumb for cooking turkey breast cooking times:
- Turkey breast - 4 to 8 pounds: 1 ½ to 3 ¼ hours. The timing depends on the size of the breast and whether it's boneless or bone-in.
And for whole turkey cooking times:
- 8 to 12 pounds: 2 ¾ to 3 hours.
- 12 to 14 pounds: 3 to 3 ¾ hours.
- 14 to 18 pounds: 3 ¾ to 4 ¼ hours.
- 18 to 20 pounds: 4 ¼ to 4 ½ hours.
- 20 to 24 pounds: 4 ½ to 5 hours.
Frequently asked turkey questions
Yes, it takes longer to cook a stuffed turkey. It will depend on the many things starting with how much the turkey weighs.
There are many ways to ensure a juicy turkey! Allow the turkey to rest before carving. Rub butter under the skin before baking and brining the turkey. The combination of these will ensure a tasty bird!
Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. That's the fool-proof way to ensure the bird is done. The temperature in the breast should be 170 and in the thigh 180 degrees F.
A combination of covering the turkey and uncovering at the end will ensure a moist, juicy bird with a golden brown crispy skin.
Seasoning the inside of the turkey with salt, black pepper and garlic, then adding celery and onions will help infuse the bird with flavor. Do not add stuffing to the bird cavity.
No, do not rinse the turkey before cooking. Washing the turkey in the sink may lead to the spread of bacteria in the sink or on your countertops. Just don't do it!
Yes basting the turkey will help add flavor and crisp up the skin.
Leftover turkey recipes
- One of my favorite recipes to make with leftover turkey is Turkey Corn Chowder. It's so flavorful and such an easy soup!
- Turkey Pot Pie from leftovers is another super tasty recipe!
Over 50 excellent Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.
We had some time between the "live" spots to take a few pictures and chat.
Then it was time to get to work! Matt rolled up his sleeves and prepped the turkey, rubbing it with bacon drippings, butter and herbs.
The bottom of the pan had carrots, onions and butternut squash. Topped with some wine and chicken broth, into the oven it went!
That gave us more time to goof around a bit. We got a great selfie (something I specialize in 🤪).
We were able to see a bit about how the TV process works and it only took 4 takes at the end for my hubby and I to record a spot to air the following morning - we're not naturals, what can I say!
At the end of the show, turkey number one was done and ready to come out of the oven. It was gorgeous!
I can't lie, I was pretty nervous. It was something new and scary and I was worried the turkey wouldn't turn out or that it wouldn't be done in time, or that it wouldn't be beautiful.
But it did, it was AND it was delicious!
After everything was over, we sent the team back with a care package for the station and whew....the day was done!
Wait....it was only 7:30 in the morning! The day had barely started, but it was a full day for us and I was exhausted!
It was a lot of work, but it was a blast!!! In fact, I had so much fun, I volunteered again and did this the next 3 years! KSEE24 Sunrise News keeps coming back year after year!
I'm going to make some soup and talk about what to do with leftovers. This time I'll be cooking with Teresa Sardina. If you're in the Fresno area, tune into the morning show on KSEE24 News!
p.s. and the earache? Well, it didn't bother me a bit for those 2 hours, funny how that worked! 🙂