Preparing Poultry for Roasting
It is recommended to thaw frozen poultry in the refrigerator. Plan on 24 hours for every 5 pounds. For example, a 20-pound turkey will need to thaw in the refrigerator for 4 days.
Cold-water thawing is an option that takes less time but more attention. The poultry must be in a leakproof bag such as its original tightly sealed wrapper or a plastic bag. Immerse the wrapped poultry in cold tap water. Check the water frequently to be sure it stays cold. Change the water every 30 minutes until the bird is thawed. For this method, allow 30 minutes for every pound.
Make sure whole birds are completely thawed before stuffing and/or roasting, or the roasting times will need to be increased and internal temperature checked often.
Remove giblets (heart, gizzard and liver) that are usually stored in a packet in the neck area of the bird. Use for the preparation of broth if desired. Remove and discard any large pockets of fat that may be present in the neck area.
Rinse the bird inside and out with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place on non-wood surface.
Rub the inside cavity and neck area with salt.