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Count on about 1–1½ pounds of turkey per person. This accounts for the weight of the bones.
The safest place to dethaw a turkey is in your refrigerator, and this will take a couple of days so plan accordingly. Never leave a turkey on the counter to thaw.
Start with a high temperature to get a nice dark skin. But if at any time during cooking you feel like the turkey is getting too dark, cover the bird loosely with aluminium foil.
Generally speaking, cooking time is about 13 minutes per pound, but this varies greatly. Calculate the cooking time at 13 minutes per pound but start checking about 30 minutes before this time.
Stuffing the cavity with aromatics (lemons, garlic, onions and thyme) imparts wonderful flavour.
Tying the legs together and tucking the wing tips under the body of the turkey ensures even cooking time.
Place the turkey on the rack in the roasting pan so that you achieve a crispy skin all over.
Don’t fuss with basting a turkey. If the turkey is properly seasoned with fat (oil and butter) and salt and pepper, you don’t need to baste. Basting only causes uneven cooking as the temperature of the oven falls every time you open the door to baste. It is entirely unnecessary!
Make sure you let the turkey rest. When you remove meat from the oven, the juices spill out. Letting it rest allows the juices to redistribute back into the bird, keeping it extra-moist.
Remove the excess fat using a fat separator. This will make it so much easier!
Deglaze the pan with white wine.
Loosen all those delicious brown bits in the pan, which is where all the flavour is.
Put flour and water in a Mason jar and shake vigorously to create a slurry. This is what you will use to thicken gravy. You don’t want to add flour directly into the pan because it will not dissolve, it will clump.
Whisk vigorously while cooking to avoid lumps.
Allow time to cook so gravy has a chance to thicken up.
Straining the gravy is entirely a personal preference.
Keep warm over low heat.