14 hours and 13 minutes after you put it in the oven.
This is begging several questions for several of you. Allow me to be the verbalization of your inner voice.
"Why did Kristen make a turkey when Thanksgiving is on Thursday?" and the inevitable followup,
"Who the hell cooks a turkey for 14 hours and 13 minutes?"
I guess we'll start with the turkey instructional before we address the questions.
First, name your turkey. This is important as you are going to be putting your hands all over it, and frankly, you should be on first name basis for this to be more acceptable. Then you stuff him with the most amount of stuffing you can get in there. If this requires you to prop a foot against the turkey so you can get even more in, so be it.
Next is the scandal. You put the turkey breast down in the roasting pan on a V-shaped rack. This is scandalous because your will have a butt-ugly turkey on the other end. That being said, the turkey breast will be cooking in juice, rather than taking on that leather-like texture.
Because your genetically-altered bird will not sit nicely in the rack, just give up and prop it breast down, but kind of on its side. Drape 8 pieces of bacon across its back and then pop it in the oven the night before Thanksgiving. This bacon is necessary because you have to balance out the high-carb meal with some high-fat.
Now to the explanation for the 14 hour and 13 minute turkey. Cookie subscribes to the slow-cook method of turkey preparation. Put the turkey in the oven the night before Thanksgiving, cook at 300 degrees for 1 hour (to make yourself feel better that 1 hour at 300 degrees will kill off all the salmonella on a 17-pound turkey--fat chance!) and then cook 45 minutes for every pound at the balmy temp of 185 degrees. Then add two hours because the damn formula was off and now you are starved and the bird is still gobble, gobble, gobbling.
On one hand, you have a scary ugly turkey that can't be put on the table. On the other end, you will have the juiciest turkey known to man and your house will smell like Thanksgiving for two days.
But the first question remains. Why the hell was I making a turkey yesterday? Well, we are on our way to the in-laws on Thursday.
For the past 7 years, I have made Thanksgiving dinner for the fam. I like my stuffing the way I like it. Fresh bread crumbs, fresh poultry herbs, bacon, onion and celery. And as much as I love my father-in-law, he could be throwing the damn kitchen sink into that stuffing. There could be three kinds of nuts, four kinds of fruit and even oysters, for heaven's sake.
Thanksgiving is all about the stuffing. I am thankful every day for all of my blessings. On Thanksgiving day, I'm thankful for the stuffing.
And let me tell you, it rocked.