Keep Turkey Cooking and Serving Size Easy for Thanksgiving Day.

A beautiful golden brown juicy turkey is the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving holiday table. I love the mouth-watering scent that fills the house after it has been roasting slowly for hours.

Photo by Cook for Today

Key Points:

1oz. of protein is 7 grams.

3oz. of protein is 21 grams.

The serving size of cooked protein at each meal should be approximately 3oz. (21 grams) to 4oz. (28 grams).

  • Adjust oven racks to accommodate the turkey and the pan size.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Clean and dry roasting pan with lid. (Tin foil is an option.)
  • Place the unstuffed turkey in a roasting pan. Cover with a lid or tin foil and put in the oven. (Stuffed turkey is an option.)
  • For the first 20 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, gets the turkey and roasting pan hot. Then turn it down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. (Cooking at a lower temperature will help retain the turkey flavor and juices.) (Keep in mind turkey cooks faster covered than uncovered.)
  • At approximately 160 degrees Fahrenheit, I uncover the turkey to allow the skin to become golden brown and crisp.
  • Using a meat thermometer, cook until 165 degrees Fahrenheit (thermometer in the deepest part of turkey).
  • Place cooked turkey on a serving platter.
  • On the counter, Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before beginning to slice the meat.
  • Use the drippings for gravy.
  • Keep the leftover bones and dark meat to make broth. I use the broth to make a hearty turkey noodle soup and freezes well for up to three months.

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Cook for Today

Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist with a culinary arts degree. Food and nutrition freelance writer "back to the basics!”