Thanksgiving! Looking Back

Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday, because the gift that is giving is Thanks! For the past few years the Aikens boys, Curtis Jr, Cole and I have shared our Thanks the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, with our friends, Last year we had a BBQed, Oven Roasted and a Deep Fried Birds! Their were nearly sixty of our friend stop and Dine with us! What a Great day! This year we will add one more Turkey because we hope to have at lease 20 additional friends will be with us!

Here are two turkey recipes,

As you my know I and a member of Reynolds Talking Turkey Counsel, which give me access to the women that run there Test kitchen, you know them from those funny and informative TV commercials Pat and Betty. Last week when I was asked to cook Turkeys for Advance I put a call in to the Girls. I reminded them that my Mother has roasted Turkeys in Reynolds Oven Bags since way back, and I myself have always been very successful, using the Oven Bags.   But what I wanted was information for Roasting as those I had never cooked, the following is part of the e-mail Pat and Betty sent me!

Curtis as you know the Oven Bags are perfect for birds up to 24 lbs. Without any basting or tending, turkey comes out juicy and moist, and cooks up to 20% faster!


Follow these easy steps:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Give your bird a bath with some warm water and pat dry. Don’t forget to remove the giblets!
  2. Add 1 tablespoon flour to the bag and shake to thoroughly coat; this prevents the bag from bursting during cooking. Using a pan that is at least 2 inches deep, place the bag with the opening towards the widest side of the pan.
  3. Brush the turkey with vegetable oil and rub with your favorite blend of spices; we love a combination of sage, rosemary and thyme. (CURTIS: MAYBE YOU HAVE SOME other SUGGESTIONS us and your readers ?)
  4. Place the turkey in the bag. For tender vegetables bursting with flavor, lay the turkey on a bed of celery stalks and sliced onion.
  5. Using a nylon tie (included in package) fasten the bag closed. If you misplace the tie, cut a half-inch strip from the open end of the oven bag and use it like a piece of string to tie the open end closed.
  6. Cut six ½ inch slits in the bag to allow steam to escape. Get the bird nice and cozy – tuck the edges of the bag into the pan. Insert a meat thermometer through a slit in the bag into the thickest part of the inner thigh.
  7. Place the pan in the oven, allowing room for bag to expand without touching the walls of the oven or any heating elements.
  8. Follow Reynolds suggested cooking times, below:


Weight of Turkey Oven Bag Roasting Time (Unstuffed) Oven Bag Roasting Time (Stuffed)
8 to 12 pounds 1 1/2 to 2 hours 2 to 2 1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds 2 to 2 1/2 hours 2 1/2 to 3 hours
16 to 20 pounds 2 1/2 to 3 hours 3 to 3 1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 3 to 3 1/2 hours 3 1/2 to 4 hours


*Time may be amended if turkey temperature reaches 180 degrees.


Let the bird sit for 15 minutes before carving to ensure an easier cut.


  1. To serve, carefully cut open the top of the bag. Watch out – the steam can be

hot!! Never lift the bag with bird inside – always support the bag with the pan.




Here is my recipe for and easy Bar-B- Qued (Grilled) Turkey




1 Turkey ( No I am not talking about your husband!!!!)

2 to 3 tablespoons season salt

2 to 3 Tablespoons garlic salt

2 to 3 tablespoons dry herb blend (sage, rosemary thyme, tarragon, )

1 large onion peeled

4 celery stalks

1 pound sliced bacon

1 / 4 cup oil



Wash and dry bird, ( to quote Pat and Betty Don’t forget to remove the giblets!)

Then place in Large roasting pan, combine season salt with garlic salt and herbs, mix well then rub all over turkey, cut the onion in half and place in the Turkey along with celery. (it is ok to season the onion and celery with some of the spice blend) Cover turkey with strips of bacon, if you more use once the bird is fully covered I like to drizzle a little something sweet over the bacon, honey or maple syrup, you can even use brown sugar mix into the oil. Oil drizzle it over the bacon.

Place on you BBQ, (Grill)

Cook the Bird 20 minutes a pound, The bacon keep you for having to open the grill to baste. However I still love looking in on my bird about ever 40 minutes and I still like to baste.

Happy Thanksgiving Novato Remember its about love!


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