Superb Ginger Roasted Turkey or Chicken.

Each year the center of our celebration is the turkey, but for smaller gatherings, might I suggest two chickens instead of the big bird?  I prefer chicken over turkey, and I often bake them throughout the year, as this meal is reasonably priced, well loved by all, and of course you get to eat "red jelly" with it.  I usually buy the regular whole fryer chickens, they are cheaper, taste better, and are more tender and moist, but they are a smidge smaller.  2 should easily feed 10  adult people.  I have fed as many as 13 kids and five adults with just two chickens, and all the fixins.

So for a turkey or chicken, this is the very best way I have found to bake a delicately flavored bird, and because it is not stuffed with bread stuffing the bird cooks a little quicker.  You also avoid the danger of salmonella that is often connected with stuffed/roasted birds.  Sleep in, because this recipe will save you a couple of hours, and the flavor is undeniably superb!

Cooking time: Chickens about 1.5 to 2 hours, possibly more if it's a really BIG one.  You want to roast about 30 minutes per pound, please note this is for an un-stuffed chicken.  Turkey is the same, but will need cook longer overall, because it is bigger.  So when you unwrap your bird, make note of the weight, and write it down, then multiply this number by 30 for the total number of minutes to cook, then divide by 60 for hours.  So a three pound chicken would cook 1.5 hours, and a 20 pound turkey, about 10 hours.I heat the oven up to at least 400 degrees F, but you can roast them even hotter, up to 500 degrees F.  High temp roasting is a little scary the first time, but once you do it, you will never go back, because the results are so much better.

A fresh/ thawed chicken, or turkey, or several chickens for a larger gathering.
A fresh ginger root
one orange for each bird(2 for each turkey)
fresh Italian herbs (basil, tyme, dill, rosemary, sage, or even parsley, dried herbs also work, but are less effective)
fresh garlic cloves (optional)

Slice the ginger into thin slices, and place 2 in each chicken and 5 in each turkey.

Now put a small bouquet of herbs in, one or several mixed together is always nice along with a clove or two of garlic if you wish.  

Cut the orange into slices, and finally place the slices inside, squeezing gently to release some juice.  I do not bother with trussing or anything, I just bake them as they are, but you may truss them up if you wish.

Now bake uncovered for the needed time preferably on a baking/roasting rack. If your bird starts to become too browned, you can tent a greased piece of foil over the top to protect it from over browning.  Baste it regularly, about every 30 minutes or so for a lovely golden brown.  It will only get dry, if it is cooked too long!  Use a meat thermometer, and check for an internal temp of 180 in the thigh, as recommended by the USDA for safty from food born disease.  You can begin checking about an hour before the estimated time, that way you won't accidentally over cook, and for a very large turkey, I would start checking about 3 hours before it should be done. 

I make stuffing, and brown it in the oven in a baking dish, and I serve with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and "red Jelly".  The other recipes listed in this issue are also great sides for this traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas feast.