Preparing a Turkey

How should I thaw my Chef's Pride Turkey?

Do not thaw at room temperature. Leave turkey in original bag. Place the turkey in a tray in the refrigerator for 3-4 days allowing 24 hours for every 5 pounds OR cover with cold water and thaw allowing 30 minutes per pound, changing water frequently.

How do I prepare my Chef's Pride turkey for roasting?

When the turkey is thawed, remove the neck and giblet bag from the turkey. Reserve neck and giblets for your stuffing and gravy recipes. Rinse turkey inside and out. If you are not going to be roasting the turkey at this time, refrigerate promptly.

How do I roast my Chef's Pride turkey?

Season turkey to your preference. Preheat oven to 325° F to 350° F. Place turkey breast-side up in a shallow roasting pan. Cover turkey with foil to prevent over browning. Position turkey in the middle of the oven. To brown, roast the turkey uncovered for the last 30 minutes. Roast until Chef's Timer pops up or until meat thermometer placed in the thigh registers 160° F, the breast registers 180° F or the stuffing registers 165° F. See cooking chart for roasting estimates.

How will I know when my Chef's Pride turkey is done roasting?

Roasting times vary with the size of the turkey, whether it is stuffed and the oven temperature. Roast until Chef's Timer pops up or until meat thermometer placed in the breast registers 180° F or the stuffing registers 165° F. If you do not have a meat thermometer, check the turkey at the estimated time by piercing with a fork. The turkey is done when the juices run clear. See cooking chart for roasting estimates.

What do I do when my Chef's Pride turkey is done?

When the turkey is done remove it from the oven. Lift it out of the roasting pan with large serving utensils and transfer it to a carving platter or board. Reserve pan juices to make gravy if desired. Cover loosely with foil. Let it rest at least 15 minutes before carving for easier slicing.

Stuffing Questions

When and how do I stuff the Chef's Pride turkey?

Always stuff just prior to placing the turkey in the oven, never in advance. Mix the stuffing ingredients together just before you're ready to stuff the turkey. Loosely spoon the stuffing ingredients into the cavity, allowing about ¾ cup per pound. Don't over pack. A 10-pound turkey should hold approximately 7 cups of stuffing.

Are Chef's Pride turkeys free of hormones and antibiotics?

All Chef’s Pride turkeys are USDA Grade A inspected. Chef’s Pride turkeys contain no growth hormones or antibiotics. It is unlawful to feed or inject any type of hormone or antibiotic to a Grade A poultry product per Federal Regulations. Chef’s Pride processed turkeys are then flash-frozen and packaged in a Pereflex shrink bag designed for the protection and preservation of frozen turkey products. The Pereflex bag meets the requirements for food contact material under the appropriate Food Additive Regulations.

What ingredients will I need for basic stuffing recipes?

Chopped vegetables such as celery, onions and carrots. Dried spices such as sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Liquid such as canned chicken, turkey or vegetable broth. Unsliced day old bread that has been cubed and dried. Occasionally a binding agent such as egg whites or whole eggs are used to bind the stuffing together.

How do I make stuffing?

Use day old unsliced white bread, a loaf or baguette of French bread, crumbled corn bread or even whole wheat bread. Some people prefer a mixture of breads. Generally, a 1 pound loaf will yield about 10-12 cups of bread cubes. Cut the bread into ½ to 1 inch cubes. Spread the cubes out on a baking sheet and leave to dry, uncovered overnight. Alternatively you may dry the bread cubes in the oven at a low temperature (about 200°F) for about an hour. Dry bread soaks up moisture and makes a moist but not mushy stuffing. Sauté the vegetables in butter. Then add spices and other seasonings of your choice. Continue to sauté until the vegetables are tender. Add the liquid and simmer about 10 more minutes. (For 10 cups of bread cubes, you will need 1 - 1 ½ cups of liquid). Place dried bread cubes in a large bowl. Pour the vegetable mixture over the bread. Mix to soften and penetrate the bread, but do not over mix. Check for flavor and adjust to seasonings to taste.

Stuffing Recipes

Classic Bread Stuffing

  • 1 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup shopped fresh parsley
  • 2 medium onions, peeled ends removed, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 3 medium celery ribs, washed, ends removed chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves (from inner ribs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound firm white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and dried overnight or in the oven (or 10 cups plain bread croutons)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups turkey or chicken broth, as needed
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and celery leaves. Cook, stirring often until the onions are golden, about 8 minutes. Scrape the vegetables and butter into a large bowl. Mix in the bread cubes, parsley, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in about 1 1/2 cups of the broth, until the stuffing is evenly moistened but not soggy. Use as a stuffing or place in lightly buttered casserole and drizzle with 1/2 cup of the broth, cover and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Makes about 10 cups based on 1 cup serving. 213 calories (48% from fat), 25 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams protein, 651 mg sodium, 28 mg cholesterol, 50 mg. calcium, 2 grams fiber.

Harvest Stuffing

  • 1 c. shredded carrot
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 tsp. ground sage or poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 8 c. dry bread cubes
  • 2 c. finely chopped and peeled apple
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 c. wheat germ
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c. chicken broth
In a skillet, cook carrot, celery and onion in butter until tender but not brown. Stir in sage or poultry seasoning, salt, cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. In a large mixing bowl, combine bread cubes, chopped apple, walnuts and wheat germ. Add cooked vegetable mixture and drizzle with enough chicken broth to moisten, tossing lightly. Use to stuff one 10 pound turkey. Makes 10 servings.

Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing (with variations)

  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or dried sage leaves, crushed
  • 8 cups dry bread cubes
  • 3/4 to 1 cup chicken broth or water
In a small saucepan cook celery and onion in margarine or butter till tender but not brown; remove from heat. Stir in poultry seasoning or sage, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place dry bread cubes in a bowl. Add onion mixture. Drizzle with enough broth or water to moisten, tossing lightly. Use to stuff one 8- to 10pound turkey. Makes 8 to 10 servings. Microwave directions: In a 1-quart casserole micro-cook celery, onion, and margarine or butter, covered, on 100% power (high) for 6 to 8 minutes or till tender, stirring after 4 minutes. Continue as above. Mushroom Stuffing: Prepare as above, except cook 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms with the celery mixture, or add two flounce cans sliced mushrooms, drained, with seasonings. If using fresh mushrooms, reduce broth to 1/2 to 3/4 cup.

Raisin Stuffing: Prepare Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing as above except add 3/4 cup raisins or currants with the seasonings. Giblet Stuffing: Prepare as above, except add chopped, cooked poultry giblets with the seasonings. If desired, substitute giblet cooking broth for the chicken broth or water. Oyster Stuffing: Prepare as above, except add 1 pint shucked oysters, drained and chopped, or two 8-ounce cans whole oysters, drained and chopped, with the seasonings. Reduce broth to 1/2 to 3/4 cup. If desired, substitute oyster liquid for chicken broth or water. Chestnut Stuffing: Prepare as above, except, with a knife, cut an X in the shells of 1 pound fresh chestnuts (3 cups). Roast chestnuts on a baking sheet in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes; cool. Peel and coarsely chop. (Or, use one 8 ounce jar whole peeled chestnuts, chopped.) Add with seasonings. Peanut Stuffing: Prepare as above, except add 1 cup chopped peanuts with seasonings.