Quick steps to a Thanksgiving turkey...

  1. Thaw in refrigerator (days ahead)
  2. Brine in 5-gallon bucket (overnight)
  3. Preheat oven to 500°
  4. Rinse off brine
  5. Dress skin and flesh with butter and aromates
  6. Do NOT stuff!
  7. Roast face-down for 10-15 minutes
  8. Turn over and roast face-up for 20 minutes
  9. Prepare foil “diaper”
  10. Drop oven temperature to 325°
  11. Introduce thermometer probe into breast (careful!)
  12. Cover with foil diaper and return to oven
  13. Connect temperature probe to thermometer
  14. Remove when temperature reaches 160°
  15. Tent and resist carving for ½ hour


Chicken science

     Roaster    Capon   Broiler  Game
                        -fryer    hen         
Roaster A chicken ranging in age from 3 to 5 months
and weighing from 3-1/2 to 7 pounds. Its meat
is tender and more flavorful than the broiler-fryer
chickens. It makes a good roasting chicken but
can be prepared by other methods and is good in
other dishes. A roaster chicken will generally
serve approximately 5 to 7 people.
Capons Male chickens that have been castrated. They are
generally under 8 months old and will weigh in the
range of 5 to 9 pounds. The capon has more white
meat but generally has a higher fat content. Its
meat is the most flavorable of all the chickens and
it is very tender. Capons are great roasting
chickens and will serve approximately 6 to 9 people.
They are also insanely expensive even if you can find one.
A chicken ranging in age from 7 to 13 weeks and
weighing from 1-1/2 to 4 pounds. Its meat is very
tender and it can be prepared by most any
cooking method, such as broiling, braising, frying,
roasting and grilling. Depending on its size, a
broiler-fryer will generally serve 3 or 4 people.
A mature chicken that is over 10 months old and
weighs in the range of 4 to 7 pounds. Its meat is
very flavorful but tougher than that of the broiler-
fryers and roasters. It is best used for stews and
soups, or should be cooked slowly with a moist
heat method such as simmering or braising to
render the collagen.
Game hen Cornish game hens are small chickens of the
Cornish variety or a cross thereof. This breed was
created in the 1950s in replacement for guinea
fowl. These birds must weigh no more than 2
pounds, but may be male or female (despite the
hen moniker).