I'm cooking Easter dinner tomorrow for my family and we're having turkey with all the fixings. I've cooked turkey dinner for a crowd before but this will be the first time in our new(ish) house and with a baby in our lives. And what did I do? Forget to take the turkey out of the freezer in time to let it thaw in the refrigerator.
So it's now being carefully watched in a sink of water while it speed-thaws. You can thaw a turkey this way if you check it every 1/2 hr and replace the water so it stays cold (40 degrees F or colder). If done this way, it should take about 1/2 hr per pound to thaw safely.
I plan on putting the bird in a brine solution overnight and popping it in the oven around 9am so it'll be ready and well rested by our dinnertime of 2pm. For turkey novices, it takes about 4-4.5 hrs in a 325 F oven for an 8-12 lb turkey and you want it to rest at least 1/2 hour afterwards to let the juices redistribute throughout the meat. The internal temperature of the bird should reach 165 F with a food thermometer for safety.
Or you can do what this lady suggests! (warning: language)
Happy Easter all!