How-to Stuff, Roast and Carve a Whole Turkey

Combine the stuffing ingredients as the recipe directs. Do not stuff the turkey until you’re ready to place it in the oven. Spoon the stuffing loosely into neck cavity.

Pull the neck skin over stuffing to the back of turkey and secure with a skewer. Tuck the wing tips under the body to avoid overbrowning while the turkey roasts.

Loosely spoon stuffing into body cavity. Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string.

Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil or melted butter if desired. Insert an oven-safe thermometer into thick area of inner thigh area, not touching bone. Or use an instantread thermometer toward end of roasting time.

Roast the turkey as recipe directs. Baste with the pan juices if desired.

When breast area has browned, loosely cover with foil to avoid excess browning. Roast until a thermometer reads 165° in center of stuffing and at least 180° in thigh.

Place bird on a carving board and remove any stuffing. Holding the end of the drumstick, pull the leg away from the body and cut between the thigh joint and body to remove the entire leg. Repeat with other leg.

To separate drumstick and thigh, cut through the connecting joint.

Holding drumstick by the end, slice meat into 1/4-in. slices. Cut thigh meat parallel to the bone into 1/4-in. slices.

Hold the bird with a meat fork and make a deep cut into the breast meat just above the wing area.

Slice down from the top of the breast into the cut made in Step 10. Slice meat 1/4 in. thick. Repeat Steps 10 and 11 on other side of bird.

To remove wings, cut through connecting joints by the wing bones and backbone.