Commissary Highlights 1978 - 1985



If the turkey is frozen, defrost it in the bottom of the refrigerator, figuring up to 24 hours for every five pounds. Loosely pack the cavity with stuffing, sew up the opening and rub the bird with softened butter, shortening or oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the turkey breast side down in a shallow pan and roast it uncovered. Baste every 20 minutes (if using a turkey that is not pre-basted). After 30 minutes, add one cup of water. Place a tent of aluminum foil, or a towel soaked in vegetable shortening, over sections of the bird that brown too quickly. Insert the thermometer deep into the thigh, away from the bone, to test for doneness. When the turkey is done (165 degrees), remove it from the oven and allow to stand about 20 minutes before carving.

The following chart should help you if a meat thermometer is unavailable:
Roasting Time in 325 Degree Oven

Weight Unstuffed Stuffed
8-12 lbs 3-4 hours 4-5 hours
12-16 lbs 3 ½ -5 hours 4 ½ - 6 hours
16-20 lbs 4 ½ - 6 hours 5 ½ - 7 hours
20-24 lbs 5 ½ - 6 ½ hours 6 ½ - 7 hours

Fail-Free Turkey Gravy

The calorie counters have been trying to downplay gravy of late. To them we say: “Thanksgiving comes but once a year, so indulge.” And, who can resist leftover turkey or stuffing drenched with gravy? This gravy recipe has a rich brown color and nutty flavor and is made by roasting the flour first. It’s called Fail-Free which means it won’t curdle, separate or congeal, although it may stain your necktie.

Turkey giblets and neck
About 2 quarts water
8 chicken bouillon cubes
1 large onion, sliced
2 large carrots, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
2 springs parsley
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup fat skimmed from turkey drippings, or melted butter or margarine
Salt and Pepper

Place turkey giblets (except liver) and neck in a 4- to 5- quart pan; add the two quarts water, bouillon cubes, onion, carrots, celery, and parsley. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until gizzard is tender when pierced, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Add liver and cook for 5 more minutes. Pour the broth through a strainer and then measure; you should have 5 cups (if not, boil, uncovered to concentrate); set aside. Remove meat from neck and reserve. Discard bones and vegetables. Finely chop giblets and neck meat; set aside. Meanwhile, rinse and dry cooking pan. Add flour and stir over medium heat until toasted to a light golden color, about 10 minutes. Stir in fat and cook, stirring until bubbly. Remove from heat and gradually stir in the giblet broth. Stirring, bring to a boil and simmer 3 or 4 minutes. Mix in chopped giblets and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a serving container. Serve hot. Makes about 1 ½ quarts.

Marilyn Townsend