Total Thanksgiving cooking time=turkey to room temperature time + cooking time + resting time
For me, total Thanksgiving cooking time = 30 mins + 2 3/4 hours + 25 mins
Therefore if dinner is at 2pm, I need to get the turkey out of the fridge at 10.20.All the recipes in this plan can be found in Friday’s post here.
- Get the turkey and some butter out of the fridge. The Turkey must be at room temp before you cook it – this takes about 30 mins.
- 25 mins later … turn on the oven to 450.
- Butter the turkey, lay it on its vegetable trivet, pour into the soon-to-be-gravy and bung in the oven, turning it down to 350. Set a timer for 25 minutes less than you think the turkey will take. Timings are on the recipe.
- Prepare the vegetables for the roast, put them in their roasting dish and set aside (I use the top of the stove).
- Prepare the stuffing, tip into the dish and set aside (in my case, on top of the veg tray).
- Get a kettle ready for the green beans, trim them and set aside (yup, on top of the stuffing).
- Put the cranberry sauce into bowls on the table.
- Put some store bought corn bread into a basket.
- Now’s the time to set the table, get out wine, fill water glasses etc.
- Realistically that’s going to take an hour – and life will be better if someone wants to help. But now you’re done, and everything’s ready to go. Welcome your guests, make turkey cut outs of your hands, drink wine or a Thanksgiving cocktail, watch the parade on teevo. Keep the timer handy.
- The timer beeps. See how the turkey is getting on – it may need covering with foil if the breast is getting too dark. Put in the tray of vegetables to roast. Re-set the timer for the turkey itself (about 25 mins time but keep checking that pop up thermometer …)
- 25 mins later … take the turkey out and rest it under a few layers of foil.
- Turn the oven up to 425 and put in the stuffing set the timer for another 20 mins
- Now’s the time to serve a starter if you have one – ideally a soup you made the day before or a tray of easy smoked salmon and cucumber bites that you can assemble in moments if you have everything ready to go in the fridge.
- The timer beeps. Again. Check the vegetables and the stuffing – they can have another five minutes if they need it – my oven needs contingency built into it – but they should be done. Turn off the oven and let them sit out of the way.
- Transfer the turkey to a platter and cover with foil – decorate with halved oranges, bunches of fresh parsley etc as your taste directs you.
- Boil the kettle.
- Skim the fat off the gravy in the tray, mash about the vegetables and pour into a pan. Thicken with corn flour and bring it to the boil. Hot gravy is the key to making sure everything else is hot on the plate if your timing gets a bit erratic.
- Pour boiling water over the beans (salt well).
- Un-foil the turkey and take to the table.
- Take the vegetables and stuffing to the table.
- Drain the beans, toss with garlic oil and take to the table.
- Pour the gravy into a jug and take to the table.
- Sit down and eat.