How to cook the perfect turkey

Tips for the perfect turkey

  1. Pay extra for a fresh or organic turkey, if you can. The difference in flavor and meat texture will impress you.

  2. If, you buy a frozen turkey, depending on size -will take several days to defrost - best to defrost in the refrigerator, the week before. It takes about 5 hours a pound to defrost safely. Place it in a roasting pan to catch water/juices- and leave it sealed in it's wrapper.

  3. What size to buy? Under 14 pounds you need to buy about 2 pounds per person - over 14 pound birds, calculate 1.5 pounds per person.

  4. The bag of stuff inside: those are turkey giblets. If, you like you can cook and use them in your dressing. There may be an ugly neck, too. Great pet food if you choose not to use for your feast.

  5. To stuff or not to stuff? The stuffing is more flavorful when cooked in the bird -but problems can occur. The inside temperature of the turkey/stuffing may not be hot enough to kill any potential bacteria.

  6. My solution: cut the turkey into eight pieces -just like a chicken. (Or have your butcher do it. ) Make your dressing and in a long, roasting pan, lay the turkey pieces on top. Will save you much time and worry. I can roast an 18 pound bird in about 2 hours. Cutting your turkey roasting time in half.

  7. The dressing is delicious, turkey easier to carve, and the turkey isn't hogging the oven so long!

  8. If, you let your turkey pieces rest before carving -they will be moisterand the skin stays in place.
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About "The Entertaining Encyclopedia"

Entertaining friends and family is one of the best gifts you can give them; parties are the stuff of memories, and far more valuable than anything you can buy.

And one of the best gifts you can give yourself is to learn how to enjoy your own parties, making them more fun for everyone. With "The Entertaining Encyclopedia: Essential Tips and Recipes for Perfect Parties," author Denise Vivaldo has provided 200 of her carefully tested recipes and hundreds of time-proven party ideas and tips, making this book THE go-to resource guide for entertaining.

As a seasoned food professional, Denise has been serving up her own unique brand of food and fun to celebrities and dignitaries through her company, Food Fanatics, a catering, recipe-development, and food-styling firm she founded in Los Angeles in 1988.

"The Entertaining Encyclopedia" is filled with her can't-miss tips, techniques and recipes that ensure success of any event that anyone can host, any time. Denise has included all the ideas, menus, and recipes to create a cozy movie night or to host an exotic dinner party featuring foods from around the world.

>> Buy this book on Amazon: The Entertaining Encyclopedia: Essential Tips for Hosting the Perfect Party

About Denise Vivaldo

Food and entertaining expert-extraordinaire, Denise Vivaldo, has been teaching all things culinary to enthusiastic audiences for more than 20 years.

Denise has created and catered more than 10,000 parties and served guests such as Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, Prince Charles, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Bette Midler, Cher, and Aaron Spelling.

She began her culinary training at the Ritz Escoffier and La Varenne in Paris, and then graduated Chef de Cuisine from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Denise spent numerous years as a professor at UCLA's Culinary Program and at her alma mater, The California Culinary Academy.

Denise and Food Fanatics has catered events for the Academy Awards Governor's Ball, Sunset Magazine's Taste of Sunset, and Hollywood wrap parties. She has also served as the food stylist for countless local and nationally syndicated television shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NapaStyle with Michael Chiarello, and Inside Dish with Rachel Ray.

Denise has been a featured guest on television shows such as Good Day LA, ABC Morning News, The Food Network, Home & Garden Network, TV Guide Channel, and Lifetime TV. Denise teaches catering and food styling seminars and workshops across the country and internationally.

She is the author several best-selling books such as: How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business, which has sold more than 150,000 copies and is in its 5th printing, How to Start a Home-Based Personal Chef Business, Do It For Less! Parties, and the 2009 IACP Cookbook Award winner, Do It For Less! Weddings. She is currently working on The Food Styling Handbook, a book based on her decades of wide-ranging food styling experience.

To learn more about Denise, visit

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