Picture it, Nashville, 2009, November. We had just moved into our new home only 4months earlier and money was pretty tight. We kept all the ugly yellow appliances and the thought was we would replace them when either they die or we re-save up the money.
We invited both sides of the family to our new home, as we were very proud of it, for Thanksgiving for me to cook the turkey for the very first time. Then the fright of frights, only a mere 4 days prior to Thanksgiving - MY RANGE DIED! ACK! I was in tears, Darren was consoling me and off we went to Sears to pick out a new oven.
At Sears, this angel - I don't even know her name - helped us find the perfect range. While she and I were working up the rush order, I asked her about stuffing the turkey because I had heard all these different ideas and thought I would get hers.
She said, "GIIIIIURRRRL! NO NO NO! You do not stuff a turkey! You yankees do turkey all wrong." I was so taken aback. I looked at her and asked her to impart her Southern wisdom on me... she shared the following recipe with me. I followed it to the letter and my very first turkey was absolutely the most moist, flavorful turkey even my mother said she had ever had.
And now I share this with you:
Ok – thaw out your turkey in the fridge. The bigger the turkey the more time you will need to thaw – I have a 15lb one this year and I am taking it out of the freezer on the Sunday before. Do not believe the package that 48hrs if enough time. They lie.
Preheat your oven according to the package.
Once thawed remove all packaging, and put Tom Turkey in the sink start rinsing and get all the insides out – this is gross so you may want to get your mom or your man to do this if you are weak of heart. Some people cook these up for the dog – I throw them away b/c they are gross. Rinse everything and put Tom in the pan you're going to cook him in, breast side up.
In a large mixing bowl put the carrots, apples and cut up 1 & ½ sticks of butter up in chunks. Add the lemon juice & 1t of thyme – mix it all together so it is tossed nicely. Then take a large spoon and spoon the mixture into both ends of Tom's center cavity. To have him full of apples, carrots and butter. Once full – close him up but tucking his legs around the opening or using some cooking spears – metal is best.
Then salt & pepper him on the outside and sprinkle the other teaspoon of thyme all over him. Then grab the other stick and a half of butter and massage it into him all over until he is well covered. Then cover him and put him in the oven.
Now read the package and do the math to figure out how long to cook him b/c it's based on his weight. You will bast him every 30mins. Cook him covered for half the time and uncovered for the other half that way he stays moist.
Also, you may want to try my Blue Diamond Mashed Potatoes with this. Even my dad - a die hard mashed tater expert LOVES these - even though they are healthy!