The Maryland Guide • 11-23-23 Tıps F A Te ific Turkey Sweet potatoes may be stars; cornbread dressing a contender. Dinner rolls are divine and green bean casserole a go-to. But anksgiving dinner isn’t complete without turkey. Even in households that don’t eat meat, plant-based turkey alternatives nd their way onto the dinner table in a nod to anksgiving tradition. Given the emphasis placed on the main course each anksgiving, cooking a turkey can be intimidating. ese turkey-cooking tips can calm anyone’s nerves and result in a mouth-watering main course. • Allow ample time for thawing. Some people may not be able to buy a fresh turkey, and millions of individuals purchase frozen turkeys each year. e Food Network says it can take 24 hours per every ve pounds to thaw a turkey. erefore, if you have a 15-pounder, allow for three days for thawing. Always thaw a turkey in a refrigerator. • Get the right size bird. e general rule of thumb is 1 pound (uncooked) to 11⁄2 pounds of turkey per person if you’re buying a whole turkey. Rather than purchasing the largest turkey you can nd for a large crowd, consider two smaller turkeys or one turkey and one breast to make cooking more even. Smaller birds are more tender as well. • Adjust the temperature. e food and cooking resource eKitchn advises preheating an oven to 450 F, then dropping the temperature to 350 F a er putting the turkey into the oven. Cook, on average, 13 minutes per each pound of turkey. e turkey is done when it registers a minimum temperature of 165 F in the thickest part of the thigh. • To brine or not to brine? Many food fanatics swear by brining turkey to achieve more moist and avorful meat. However, a wet brine may not lead to the crispiest skin possible. Good Housekeeping suggests trying a dry brine instead. is involves rubbing salt all over the raw turkey, placing the bird into a large plastic bag, and refrigerating overnight or up to two days before cooking; otherwise, purchase a kosher turkey, which already has been salted from the inside out. • Avoid stu ng the bird. Rather than stu ng the turkey and cooking everything en masse, prepare the stu ng mixture separate from the turkey. is reduces the risk of contamination from the turkey’s raw juices and helps to achieve a crispy coating on the stu ng guests will enjoy. • Make an aromatic roasting rack. Turkeys typically are placed on a metal rack for cooking so the juices do not cause the turkey to stick to the pan. However, you also can cut onions and lay them with a bed of whole celery stalks and carrots to elevate the roast. is creates extra avor in the bird and the vegetables also can be served or mixed into the stu ng. Some turkey-roasting techniques can ensure a moist and avorful main course this anksgiving.