Let's Talk Turkey - 1955
Let’s Talk Turkey – 1955

Today’s Thanksgiving Recipe – Make a 1955 Turkey!

“Turkey – a dish that adds grace to every table!”

In this vintage cooking film, resident chef Marie Gifford shows how to prepare a turkey, not just for a 1955 Thanksgiving, but to enjoy 365 days a year.

No longer do you need to be burdened by New York dressed turkeys, paying for and disposing of extra unneeded parts like the head or the feet.

With the miracle of modern freezing technology, and developments at the FDA’s experimental laboratories in Beltsville, Maryland, you need only “pay for the meat you can eat.”

So, let us enter Marie Gifford’s kitchen and learn of the modern, cutting-edge way to prepare turkey. Follow step-by-step for the best way to roast a turkey, for Thanksgiving or any other time of the year.

Let's Talk Turkey - 1955
Let’s Talk Turkey – 1955

Turkey’s great for potlucks and picnics and summer lunches!

Discover how to make Cold Roasted Turkey, the best guest insurance since cold ham.

Leftovers are no problem – just make a Turkey Rice Casserole, some Turkey Almond Salad (great for a wedding!), or Turkey Pinwheels with Mushroom Sauce.

If you follow her recipe below you might just make the most authentic 1955 Thanksgiving Turkey you’ve ever tasted.



Let's Talk Turkey - 1955
Let’s Talk Turkey – 1955

1 Beltsville Turkey
3 quarts of bread cubes
¾ cup of celery
¾ cup of onions
¾ cup of butter
1 tablespoon of parsley
1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of pepper
¾ teaspoon of poultry seasoning
2-3 toothpicks or skewers
String for lacing the Turkey

How to Defrost
1. If you have time, let it defrost in your refrigerator food compartment. Allow 24 hours at least.
2. If you’re in a hurry, and don’t live in a drought-stricken state, let it sit under cool running water for 1 to 3 hours.
3. When the turkey leg is pliable, it is ready.
4. Don’t re-freeze after defrosted – thaw, and cook, and eat.

Let's Talk Turkey - 1955
Let’s Talk Turkey – 1955

How to make Giblet Dressing
1. Remove the giblets from within the turkey.
2. Place in salted water, sufficient enough to cover.
3. Don’t forget the giblets that may be stored in the neck cavity.
4. Simmer for 1 hour.
5. Chop the giblets fine for the dressing, and save the broth for leftover gravy.

How to make a magnificently flavorful Stuffing
1. Toast 3 quarts of bread cubes, which adds a lot of flavor.
2. Lightly brown ¾ cup of celery and ¾ cup of onions in ¾ cup of butter.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of parsley, 1 tablespoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, ¾ teaspoon of poultry seasoning, the giblets, and 1 ½ cup of the delicious giblet broth. Don’t add too much liquid, just enough to soften the breadcrumbs.
4. Mix it up.

How to Stuff and Truss your Turkey
1. Rub the inside of the bird with 1 teaspoon of salt, stuff the neck cavity first.
2. Hold the wings close against the body, bring the neck skin over the wingtips, and skewer to hold it together.
3. Stuff the body lightly – the stuffing will swell – it needs room.
4. Use 2-3 toothpicks or skewers to close the opening.
5. Lace with a string how a boot is laced, wind around the legs, and tie the legs close together, then tie securely to the tail.

Let's Talk Turkey - 1955
Let’s Talk Turkey – 1955

Roasting the turkey
1. Put the bird breast down in a V-shaped roaster rack so the juice and fat will run over the breast meat.
2. Brush the turkey all over with melted fat.
3. Halfway through the roasting turn the turkey breast up.
4. Now it’s ready to roast.

When Roasting your Turkey …
1. Take into consideration the overall weight of the turkey and the weight of the stuffing to determine the amount of pounds and thus the amount of time it needs to be cooked.
2. Use Marie Gifford’s Poultry Roasting Chart to determine the weight and cook time.
3. Keep the oven low at 325 degrees.
4. When ready, let rest, carve and enjoy!

For more vintage recipes from Marie Gifford visit: