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Roast Turkey – Unstuffed and Gluten-Free

An unstuffed turkey cooks in less time, so you don’t spend as long in the kitchen.   With a 20-lb. bird, you’ll have enough turkey to serve about 12 people, or maybe 6 people and still have leftovers.  They’ll probably not even notice it’s gluten-free, unless you tell them. You can prepare your favorite gluten-free dressing in a separate pan, or on the stovetop.

Be sure to check the label that the turkey is gluten-free.  Many of them are injected with solutions that contain gluten.

Use the pan juices to make Turkey Gravy or Giblet Gravy.  Serve with Cornbread, Sausage and Pecan Dressing, Green Beans Almond, Potatoes Mashed with Butter, Glazed Yams with Marshmallows, Cranberry Sauce, and Pumpkin Pie.

20 pounds Turkey, Whole, thawed

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon Rosemary, crushed

1/2 Teaspoon Thyme, crushed

1 Sprig Parsley, or 1 tbsp. dried parsley

1 pound onions, quartered

2 Each Carrots, quartered

2 Stalks celery, quartered

1 tablespoon olive oil, spray

Leave in original wrap and place on tray or drip pan.  Thaw in refrigerator for 2 to 5 days (8 lbs = 2 days, 20 lbs = 5 days).  Check inside to be sure it’s thawed, or it will not cook according to schedule.   A 20-lb turkey will serve about 12 people.

Remove packet of giblets and neck from inner cavity and reserve for another recipe (like Giblet Gravy).  Rinse bird inside and out.  Pat dry.  Sprinkle large cavity with salt, pepper, crushed rosemary and thyme.  Stuff loosely with parsley, quartered onions, carrots and celery.  If opening has band of skin across tail, push drumsticks under — no need to fasten opening. If not, close opening by placing skewers across it; lace shut with cord and tie drumsticks to tail.

To roast, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Place turkey breast up on rack in shallow roasting pan.  Spray or rub skin thoroughly with oil.  If meat thermometer is used, insert in center of inside thigh muscle, not touching bone.  “Cap” turkey loosely with foil, pressing it lightly at drumstick and breast ends.  Avoid having foil touch top or sides.  Roast in uncovered pan 4-1/4 to 4-1/2 hours.  Baste, if desired, with pan drippings or broth.   Be sure to wash utensils, surfaces and hands in hot, soapy water after contact with uncooked turkey and juices.

When bird is about 2/3 done, cut band of skin or string between legs and tail.  Remove foil cap to allow turkey to brown (recover if it browns too fast).  Continue roasting.

About 20 minutes before roasting time is up, test bird for doneness.  The thickest part of drumstick should feel very soft when pressed between fingers protected with paper towels, and drumstick should move up and down and twist easily in socket.  Meat thermometer should register 180 degrees in the inner thigh, 170 in the thickest part of the breast.  Pop-up timers are convenient, but they don’t always work, so test the turkey yourself, too.  Remove bird from oven; cover with foil and let stand 15 minutes before carving.  Discard the vegetable stuffing.   Carve and serve.

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