Me? Cook a turkey? sigh. Ok, I'll try again.
I've actually done it twice before and all have emerged alive ('cept for the turkey of course). Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, which calls for something. Many people do ham, which is a heck of a lot safer, lol. But noooo... I have to tempt the Food Safe Gods yet again and cook another bird.
So, for my review and benefit (and for those of you in my shoes), here's an overview:
Cold Water Thawing:
About :30 per pound. Turkey must be in leak proof packaging, and water must be kept clean and cold (changing every half hour is a good idea).
At the moment mine is still in its plastic wrap, double bagged in garbage bags, in a cooler full of cold water in the bathtub. I love this method. You close the lid of the cooler which keeps the floating turkey UNDER the water, and the insulation of the cooler keeps the water at a safe temperature. To change to water, simply open the drain at the bottom of the cooler, and then refill once the old water has drained out.
They recommend cooking cold water thawed turkey immediately because the conditions are not temperature controlled, but I've put the bird back in the fridge before cooking it. Mind you, I use the cooler which keeps the water cold, and I check on it constantly. (Believe me, I'm paranoid.)
About :20 per pound (assuming it's properly thawed ;) Rinse out the cavity, stuff it and close it with skewers. Cover with foil in the beginning (remove near the end to brown).
Note: only put the stuffing into the cavity immediately before the turkey goes in the oven - never pre-stuff the bird and let it sit in the fridge. Supposedly that's really dangerous. I've also heard that you shouldn't mix the dry and wet ingredients of the stuffing (assuming you're making home-made) together until the last minute either. Who knows. I'm sure there are people who have done this and been just fine (or who wondered what their stomach pains were from later ;) but I always err on the side of caution.
Happy Easter cooking!!