Have you ever wondered how to cook a perfect turkey? Perhaps you have a tried and true method that you use every year with flawless results… or maybe you try something different each time but it still doesn’t come out quite right. With Christmas right around the corner, we thought we would share with you the perfect way to cook a turkey.
This method comes from our Goodness Me! head chef, Sandy Pomeroy, with years of delicious, juicy results. It has never failed her in her quest to make the perfect turkey, and her guests rave about it every year. It might not be the most conventional method, but trust us–it works! We’re also going to share a gluten free stuffing recipe made with quinoa. Ditch the bread this year (have you read Wheat Belly yet?!) and indulge in this savoury stuffing that actually nourishes your body. Merry Christmas!
Goodness Me!’s Instructions for Cooking a Perfect Turkey
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Take your fresh or thawed turkey out of its bag and wash. Pat it dry with paper towels. Remove giblets and neck.
3. Spoon the stuffing into the turkey and place the turkey (breast-side up) into a large roasting pan. Rub the breast generously with a heat-tolerant fat such as melted ghee, unflavoured coconut oil, or olive oil.
4. Place giblets and neck on the bottom of the roasting pan and cover the turkey loosely with a ‘tent’ of foil.
5. Put the turkey into the preheated oven, wait ten minutes, and reduce the heat to 350 degrees.
6. About every hour or so, drain or spoon some of the juices out of the roasting pan, and reserve.
7. Roast the turkey for about 20 minutes per pound (15 minutes per pound if unstuffed). For large turkeys, you can reduce this time by about one hour. Your turkey is done when a meat thermometer reaches 180ºF for stuffed turkey (170ºF for an unstuffed turkey) or when juices run clear.
8. Remove turkey to a large platter. Cover with foil, wrap in a large towel and let sit for up to an hour before dinner. Remove stuffing and slice turkey.
*Sandy’s tip: “Letting the turkey rest for an hour in a thick towel makes the turkey so moist, that you will never want to skip this step!” 9. Prepare gravy if you wish.
To prepare gravy:
1. In a glass jar combine ½ cup spelt flour (or ¼ cup arrowroot flour or starch for gluten-free gravy) with 1 cup water and 1 tsp. Herbamare. Shake extremely well.
2. Place roasting pan over medium heat on stove top. Stir, removing drippings from bottom of pan. Stir in reserved turkey juices, skimming off fat first. Bring up to the boil and start adding in flour or arrowroot mixture. Whisk vigorously until gravy thickens. And now, for our gluten free quinoa stuffing recipe. Quinoa stuffing is light and delicious, easier to make than bread stuffing, and it is gluten free. I always prepare my stuffing without the optional butter, as I find the juices from the turkey give it a sufficiently rich taste. If you prefer to use butter in your stuffing, it does add flavour, especially if you are baking it “casserole style” rather than inside the turkey.
Gluten Free Quinoa Stuffing
2 cups dry quinoa (6 cups cooked) 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups) 3 stalks celery, chopped in 1/4 -1/2 inch pieces (about 2 cups) 2 Tbsp dried sage 1 tsp thyme 1 tsp celery salt 2 tsp Herbamere Fresh ground pepper Optional: 1/2 cup melted butter
Cook the quinoa in 4 cups of water: Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. When it is done, you will see a little ring around each grain. Remove from heat and let cool. Then fluff with a fork. I often do this the night before. If using the optional butter, melt it and sauté the onion and celery for 3 or 4 minutes. Combine cooked quinoa, onion, celery, and seasonings. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings. Spoon the mixture into the cavity of your turkey. For a small turkey or a large roasting chicken, prepare half the recipe.
Quinoa Stuffing: Casserole Style
If you wish to make stuffing when you are not cooking a turkey or chicken, or if you have extra stuffing that does not fit into your turkey, try this option.
Add 2/3 cup chicken stock to the stuffing, stirring lightly to combine. Place in a covered casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes at 350ºF.