PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Cooking a turkey can be tricky, even for experienced home chefs. Four Seasons Banquet Chef Joe Drago says the perfect turkey starts with the seasoning.

“You should butter the turkey under the skin and on the outside of the turkey,” he suggests. “Put a flavor stuffing inside the turkey. Now that’s not something you are going to eat but something to flavor the turkey, which would be carrots, onions, celery, fresh herbs and a little garlic.”

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How long should you roast your turkey? Drago says there is one item you can’t be without in the kitchen.

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“You can’t tell somebody 20 minutes a pound. Just go buy a thermometer. You put the thermometer in from the beginning when you put your turkey in, and it hangs outside the oven when it comes to temperature. It makes it so simple.”

Drago says when the turkey hits 145 degrees, take the cover off in the oven, roast it for another 40 minutes. When the turkey temperature rises to 155, remove it from the oven, cover and let it rest for 35 minutes and the bird temperature will rise 165 degrees and it’s safe to eat!

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Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060