Roasting a Free Range Shelton's Turkey
PREPARING FOR OVEN
Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, rinse and pat
dry. Check both cavities for extra parts. Here are the methods for
preparing stuffed and un-stuffed turkeys.
Prepare your favorite dressing recipe. Never stuff the turkey the
night before, stuff it only just prior to placing in the oven. You can save
time by preparing, measuring and refrigerating the stuffing ingredients the
night before cooking. The stuffing should be loosely packed into the neck
and body cavities. Do not over-stuff, as the stuffing will expand during
cooking. Allow 1/2 to 3/4 cups stuffing per pound of turkey. If your recipe
makes more stuffing than the bird will hold, wrap the remaining mixture in
foil and bake alongside the bird in the pan during the last 1/2 hour of
roasting. After stuffing, tuck drumsticks back into the clip and skewer the
neck skin to the back of the bird.
Rub salt generously in cavities and, if desired, insert a few
pieces of celery, carrot and onion to improve flavor. Fold neck skin to the
back and fasten with skewer. Tuck legs back into the clip.
There are two ways to insert a thermometer in turkeys.
If a bird is stuffed, insert it through the large meaty muscle inside of
the thigh without touching the bone. Unstuffed, insert it in the meaty
portion of the breast without touching the bone. When the turkey is done,
the temperature should read 165 to 170 degrees. The juices should run clear. If no thermometer is used, the thickest part of the drumstick should feel soft, and the leg and wing
joints should move freely.
ROASTING THE TURKEY
Prepare turkey as directed and place, breast side up,
on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. If the bird is browning too fast, tent
loosely with foil, or cover the breast with a butter soaked cheesecloth.
Roast turkey at 325 degrees per this timetable:
|STUFFED BIRD||UNSTUFFED BIRD
|8 to 12 lbs - - - 3-4 hours
||8 to 12 lbs - - 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours
|12 to 16 lbs - - - 4-5 hours
||12 to 16 lbs - - 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours
|16 to 20 lbs - - - 5-5 1/2 hours
||16 to 20 lbs - - 4 1/2 - 5 hours
|20 to 24 lbs - - - 5 1/2 - 6 hours
||20 to 24 lbs - - 5 - 5 1/2 hours
|24 to 28 lbs - - - 6 - 6 1/2 hours
||24 to 28 lbs - - 5 1/2 - 6 hours
Turkey should rest at room temperature for about 1/2 hour before carving.