Penny Ashton - 1990
Serves 10 to 12 1 18 lb Turkey, Hen (Fresh)   THANKSGIVING DAY   Fill a dish-pan or large bowl with hot soapy water and clean as you go, all day. Make it a habit to drop used utensils and small bowls or measures in the water. During breaks, rinse and put in dish drainer. You will be way ahead of the game.   1.)GET OUT THE TURKEY About 1 hour before you plan to start the stuffing. This is to bring it closer to room temperature before putting it in the oven.   2.)TURKEY STUFFING (18 lb bird)
  3.)PREHEAT OVEN NOW! (450°)   4.)STUFF TURKEY (Required Stuff: Long Skewers) Place LARGE bowl in sink, place turkey on end, shoulders down, in bowl or get some one to hold turkey upside down, for you. Spoon stuffing into Cavity. Fill but don’t pack, it will make the stuffing heavy. Replace leg holders or truss with Skewers and String. Turn bird over and stuff the Crop (where neck was). Fill so its nicely shaped then fold excess skin under and skewer to top back of bird. Turn back over and add a little more stuffing to cavity so it’s completely full. Put any remaining stuffing in an oven proof container. You can bake 1 hour before turkey is done along with bird or refrigerate & bake later. I have 2 ovens so I bake it along with yams and other things.   5.)COOK TURKEY (Oven 450° to start, then 325° - approx. 15 min per lb or 4 ½ hrs) Insert meat thermometer into fat part of thigh, but don’t allow it to touch the bone. DONENESS: Internal temperatures with Meat Thermometer
Breast = 170° — Thigh = 185° — Stuffing = 160° REQUIRES: Baster, Cheesecloth and Roaster with Rack Place Turkey on rack in Roaster. Measure Bird for cheese cloth blanket. It should just drape over top down to edges of pan so I refold it in layers to fit. The multiple layers are so it holds butter well. Measure for length of Pan and cut. Put bird in oven and immediately turn oven down to 325°. Leave alone for ½ hour. Melt 1 cube of Butter. Drop cheesecloth in to moisten all over. After 1st ½ hour, cover bird with cheesecloth. Every ½ hour, remove bird from oven (close door) and baste, adding more butter to supplement juices as needed. Melt some and squirt with baster. Work quickly to minimize oven heat escaping. Remove Cheesecloth the last ½ hour to allow browning. Re-moisten with butter, if cheesecloth is stuck.   6.)BROTH FOR GRAVY NOTE: I use a strainer to clear broth after cooking. You won’t keep anything except the liquid. (You may strain with cheese cloth but be careful not to burn yourself with steam) Place all parts from cavities in 2 quarts water or enough to rise 1 inch over meat. Add 1 onion (quartered), 3 ribs of Celery (Cut in 2 inch chunks). Bring to a boil, skim off any foam that surfaces at first, then simmer for 1 ½ - 2 hrs, then strain. When cooked, remove large chunks with tongs or slotted spoon, then strain into large measure or bowl with spout.   7.)PREPARE TO MAKE GRAVY (See #9)   8.)WHEN TURKEY IS COOKED Remove Turkey from Roaster to Platter. Cover loosely with foil to retain heat. Allow to stand for at least 15 min. before carving.   9.)MAKING GRAVY (General notes and info) If you have never made gravy, practice by making 1 cup of white sauce (Use Better Homes Cookbook). The theory is similar and it will give you a feel for texture. If this is your first try at this quantity of gravy. Do yourself a favor, buy some canned. This will be on the shelf, as a back up and provide piece of mind while you learn. If you have to use the canned, add some small amounts of Kitchen Bouquet (only drops), Celery Salt and Poultry Seasoning. Notes on Gravy: You will first add flour to the pan drippings and some fat you left behind. When the fat absorbs the flour you add some cold broth and stir until it thickens. After that you use a paste to thicken the gravy. You will make a smooth Cold water and flour paste. When you add the cold paste to the hot broth it heats (cooks) and solidifies the hot broth into gravy. The trick is to add the paste, only as quickly as you can stir and evenly distribute it, in the hot broth. Otherwise the paste will cook into lumps. The lumps occur when the flour cooks before being dispersed in the broth. This is how dumplings are made. You want gravy not dumplings! All is not lost if you have lumps. Put the gravy in a blender and crank it up, then back in the pan to cook the released flour. It just takes more time when you’re in a hurry. If the gravy gets too thick, add more broth. If it’s not thick enough, add more paste. The other risky element is the paste. It must be present in sufficient quantity to thicken, but not so much that it overwhelms the flavor of the broth. After the gravy thickens, cook (boil) for at least 3 minutes to get rid of the raw flour flavor. Your insurance is a jar of chicken bouillon granules that you can add, by the tablespoon, to increase the poultry flavor. I’ve added as much as ½ cup when I’ve gotten carried away with flour and liquid.   10.)GRAVY PREPARATIONS (Required Stuff: Screw Top jar, 2 pot holders)  
1Screw top jar (1 qt)
OR
bowl & wire whisk
>Shake flour and cold water together or whisk in a bowl. Repeat making Paste, as you need to, until all broth is thickened into Gravy.
1CWondra Flour
2CCold water
 
1 ½cansChicken Broth (16 oz)>Have nearby, open and ready for use.
Kitchen Bouquet
Celery Salt
Poultry Seasoning
Salt
1jarEmergency Bouillon Granules
 
11.)MAKE GRAVY Pour off most of the fat in the roaster. You want to leave some maybe ¼ cup to absorb flour. Pour from corner of pan into sink. Put pan over 2 burners start out on Low.
¼CWondra Flour>Sprinkle ¼ cup Wondra into pan, Stir into fat to make a paste. When nicely thickened add some of the cold canned broth and stir and scrape pan till gravy thickens.
Continue by adding your own broth, heat it up then add the paste. Boil for 3-5 minutes after last additions. Now begin tasting. Add a sprinkling of celery salt over the gravy and 1 T of Kitchen Bouquet, then taste. The gravy should look brown but not mahogany. Add Kitchen Bouquet in small increments. It is very strong and will darken the gravy quickly. Feel free to add 1-2 tablespoon and after that only drops at a time. If the gravy tastes floury add 2 T. Chicken Bouillon Granules. Stir in, let it dissolve and Taste again. Still floury add more bouillon. Just add as your taste indicates. Add seasonings in small increments, tasting so you recognize the changes and don’t go too far.