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Shopping List
Holiday Planning

Make A List

To put together a holiday meal requires good planning to make things run smoothly. Making a list will be a tremendous time saver.
1. Make a Shopping List in advance.
2. Decide what size Turkey you will need for the number of guests you will have.
3. Make Pies, Breads or Casseroles the day before.
4. Check to see if you have Baking Dishes, Roasting Pans and Serving Platters available and clean. A meat thermometer is a must.
5. Assign different tasks (like setting the table) to other family members, so you can focus on the main part of the meal.

Make a Schedule

1 to 2 weeks before
1. Order a Fresh Turkey or buy a Frozen one.
2. Plan the menu.
3. Shop for basic cooking utensils.
4. Prepare, then freeze various breads, biscuits, pie dough ahead of time.
   
4 days before
1. Place Frozen Turkey in refrigerator.
   
2 days before
1. Pick up Fresh Turkey.
2. Shop for Fresh Vegetables.
   
1 day before
1. Make Cranberry Sauce.
2. Clean and trim Vegetables and Salad.
3. Find proper Serving Dishes.
4. Thaw Pie Dough, prepare and bake Pies.
5. Set Table, buy Fresh Flowers.
6. Set Cooking Schedule for the next day.

Buying the Bird
1. Buy 1 pound of Turkey per person. If you're only feeding a few people, consider a turkey breast.
2. If you buy a Frozen Turkey, plan enough time to thaw it.
3. If you buy a Fresh Turkey, order it ahead of time and pick it up from the store 1 to 2 days before you roast it. If you buy it sooner, make sure to keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator -- usually the back, bottom corner.

Thawing
Avoid bacteria growth by thawing turkey in the refrigerator or with the cold water method.
In Refrigerator: Thaw 24 hours for every 5 pounds of Turkey.
In Cold Water Thaw 30 minutes for every pound of Turkey.
Cold Water Method: If you're in a hurry, place wrapped Turkey, breast side down, in a large container filled with cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes.

Cooking Your Turkey
Getting the Bird Ready
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Release legs from oven-safe clamp.
3. Remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities.
4. Rinse Turkey and pat dry.
5. Add stuffing and rejoin legs with plastic clamps.
6. Tuck wings under back of Turkey.
   
Traditional Roasting Method
1. Place Turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roosting pan.
2. Place a "tent" of aluminum foil loosely over Turkey. This eliminates the need to baste and prevents excessive browning.
3. Roast in 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven using times below until temperature of meat is 165 degrees Fahrenheit and juices run clear.
4. About 45 minutes before the end of suggested roasting time, remove the foil tin, baste Turkey with the drippings and continue roasting until done.

Turkey Weight Cooking Time for Stuffed Turkey
at 350 degrees Fahrenheit*
8 to 12 pounds 3 1/4 to 3 3/4 hours
12 to 16 pounds 3 1/2 to 4 3/4 hours
16 to 18 pounds 4 1/4 to 5 hours
18 to 20 pounds 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours
20 to 22 pounds 5 to 6 hours
22 to 24 pounds 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours
24 to 26 pounds 6 1/4 to 7 1/4 hours
26 to 28 pounds 7 to 8 hours
*Decrease cooking by 15-20 minutes if cooking turkey unstuffed.

"Oven Bag" Cooking Method
Approximate Roasting Time in a 350° F Oven
Faster cooking, juicy bird with a light brown skin
You will need 1 turkey size oven bag, and 1 tablespoon flour.
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Shake 1 tablespoon flour in oven bag; leave flour in bag to protect against bursting.
3. Place bag in roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Bag should not hang over sides of pan.
4. Brush cleaned and seasoned turkey with vegetable oil. Add Turkey to bag. Close with nylon tie packed in carton.
5. Cut six 1/2 inch slits in top of bag.
6. Place in oven and roast as follows until internal temperature is 165F
 
Turkey Weight Cooking Time for Unstuffed Turkey*
12 to 16 pounds 2 to 2 1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds 2 1/2 to 3 hours
20 to 24 pounds 3 to 3 1/2 hours
*Increase cooking by 30 minutes if cooking turkey stuffed.

How to Tell When it's Done
The only safe way to tell when your turkey is done is to use a meat thermometer (either ovenproof or quick-read) and cook to 165 F. When the white signal on the pop-down timer is fully collapsed, it's time to check the temperature. Insert thermometer 2 inches into the thickest part of the inner thigh area, at the junction where the leg connects to the body of the bird (but not touching the bone). When the target temperature is reached you should have a safe, juicy, tender bird.