|make your stomach happy||.||
on thanksgiving day
2 Take your thawed turkey out of the fridge and strip it of its plastic wrapper. Roll up your sleeves, squelch any squeamish inclinations, and stick your hand into the body cavity. You’ll find a packet or two of goodies in there that should be pulled out – neck, liver, gizzard, heart. These latter three are collectively known as the giblets. (Note: if you for some reason forget to take out the giblets, it’s no biggie – the turkey will still be perfectly edible, though the giblets will not.)
You could toss out the giblets if you were too grossed-out to pick through them, but most of those bits are good to use for stock. The one thing that you probably won’t want to use in your stock is the liver (the flat giblet that’s generally dark brown/reddish in color) – it has a very strong, somewhat bitter flavor when cooked long – but the other two, along with the neck, will be perfect for whipping up some stock for gravy. Some people use the liver in stuffing, but personally, liver kind of grosses me out, so I chuck it in the trash.
Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water, and pat it dry with paper towels.
3 Loosely fill the body cavity with freshly cooked homemade stuffing. Tuck the neck flap under the body and secure it to the back using toothpicks or skewers. Twist the wings backwards onto themselves and tie the legs together to secure. Slather the bird in olive oil or softened butter. Season generously with salt and pepper.
4 Lay strips of bacon carefully over your rack, which should be sitting in the roasting pan. Transfer the bird to the rack. Lay more strips of bacon over the turkey breast, overlapping slightly, until the breast is completely covered.
Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh (if you have an instant-read thermometer, ignore this), making certain not to touch the bone (the bone heats up more quickly than the surrounding meat).
Approximate cooking times for a stuffed bird (use this to plan out your schedule for the day)
10-12 lbs 3½ to 4 hours
Loosely cover the top of the turkey with a tent of aluminum foil, to help keep the breast from cooking too quickly.