Recipes For Grown Ups

Talk Turkey to Me

Tips and Secrets for the Best Thanksgiving Bird

Impress your family — and yourself — this Thanksgiving dinner with turkey tips and help from Renee S. Ferguson’s Talk Turkey to Me. As seen on Food Network’s Throwdown with Chef Bobby Flay, this cookbook details more than 20 methods for cooking turkey, more than 80 delicious recipes from appetizers to dessert, and everything in between! Even if you’re a turkey pro, you’ll enjoy the stories incorporated into Ferguson’s how-to format, in which she shares various turkey traumas from the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. Her 14 years of turkeys gone awry will tickle your funny bone and potentially save your holiday feast!

Talk Turkey to Me addresses common turkey woes.

What if you didn’t thaw the turkey and you have to cook it frozen? Do you drill a hole for the meat thermometer? Ferguson’s book tells us to wait until about halfway through cooking, then insert the meat thermometer when the meat is soft. (This is only one of several frozen turkey solutions.)

Ferguson’s book offers an open-pan method perfect for home cooks searching for a simple recipe with consistent, reliable results.

Picture Perfect “Norman Rockwell Turkey”

  • Remove the wrapping, drain the turkey, and blot the exterior dry with a paper towel.
  • Remove the neck and the giblets from the two cavities.
  • Place the turkey breast side up in a shallow pan 2 ½ – 3 inches deep.
  • Brush or spritz the turkey with oil.
  • Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Place the turkey into an oven preheated to 325°F.
  • Do not baste the turkey or open the oven door until the first 2/3 of cooking time has passed (see chart below). When the turkey is a light golden brown, cover the breast with a tent of light-weight aluminum foil and continue cooking.
  • Continue to roast until the thigh reaches a temperature of 180°F.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Turkey chart 1020

Learn the answers to questions you never knew you had with a copy of Talk Turkey to Me, available at Renee Ferguson will even autograph your purchase, if you request!


Heidi Frankel

Heidi Frankel began her career in sales and marketing in Los Angeles. Upon moving to Dallas, she has worked in both television and radio as a creator, producer, writer, reporter, and co-host. Throughout the course of her career, she has interviewed such celebrities as former Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman, pop-culture icon Stan Lee, astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Hayes, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and former President George W. Bush when he was Texas Governor. Heidi lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband. They have one son. She enjoys gardening, exercise, spending time with her sweet cats, Virgil and Aeschylus.

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