How long to cook a turkey by Marilyn Monroe for the perfect Thanksgiving Day dinner

Salt the turkey, but don't put garlic in the stuffing: Marilyn Monroe's last-minute recipe for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner

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UPDATED:

17:49 GMT, 22 November 2012

For those on the hunt for last-minute Thanksgiving recipe ideas, Marilyn Monroe's handwritten checklist might offer some inspiration.

Jotted on a letterhead from an insurance company, the late screen siren explains how she prepares a turkey dinner, with all of the trimmings.

For the stuffing she soaks a french loaf in cold water and adds five herbs, spices and nuts, while to prep the bird she rubs it with salt, pepper, and butter, before cooking it in an oven set to 350 degrees.

On the hunt for a recipe Marilyn Monroe's handwritten checklist might offer some last-minute inspiration

On the hunt for a recipe Marilyn Monroe's handwritten checklist might offer some last-minute inspiration

The notes, which feature in Fragments, a collection of her letters and musings from 1943 to her
death in 1962, are the best evidence yet that she had a passion for
cooking.

Fussing over details, Monroe writes that giblets must be ‘liver-heart’ and stipulates that the beef must be ‘browned (no oil)'. She even takes care to specify the quantity of the produce needed.

The most important instruction of all is
right at the very top, where she states that ‘no garlic’ should be added
to the stuffing.

Unlike other cooks, she uses little fat or broth and no eggs or binder to hold it together. To make the mix right it also needs ‘1 handful’ of grated Parmesan and an unspecified amount of ‘parsley’.

For the bird – either a chicken or turkey – she salts, peppers and butters it before stuffing and sewing it up and cooking at 350 degrees, for two hours or longer, depending on its weight.

The final meal is presented with sides of potato, canned button mushrooms and fresh green peas.

Dab hand in the kitchen: Written on a letterhead from an insurance company, the detailed instructions explain how Marilyn prepped a turkey dinner

Dab hand in the kitchen: Written on a letterhead from an insurance company, the detailed instructions explain how Marilyn prepped a turkey dinner

Monroe’s
flair for cooking was evident at an auction of her personal effects in
1999 when two well-worn cookbooks of hers from the 1950s were sold off
for well above the reserve.

The recipe is dated around 1955 or 1956 when she was living in New York with her husband, the playwright Arthur Miller.

At
the time, riding high off the back of the success of the Seven Year
Itch, Monroe had just signed a four-film $100,000 per-film deal with
20th Century Fox.

The four would include Bus Stop and Some Like It Hot, for which she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress. Monroe and Miller later divorced amid accusations of affairs on both sides before her death in 1962 from an apparent overdose.

MARILYN MONROE'S THANKSGIVING RECIPE

FOR THE STUFFING

No garlic
Sourdough
French bread – soak in cold water, wring out, then shred
For chicken giblets – boil in water 5-10 mins
Liver – heart then chop
1 whole or onion, chop & parsley / four stalk celery, chop together following spices – put in rosemaryThyme, bay leaf, oregano, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper,
Grated Parmesan cheese, 1 handful
1/2lb – 1/4lb ground round – put in frying pan – brown (no oil) then mix raisin 1 cuops or more
1 cup chop nuts (walnuts, chestnuts, peanuts)
1 or 2 hard boiled eggs – chopped mix together

TO PREP THE BIRD

Salt & pepper inside chicken or turkey – outside same and butter
Sew up clamp birds put chicken or turkey in 350 oven
Roasting chicken – 3or 4lbs or larger
Cooks 30 min to 1lbs
Brown chicken or pheasant (vinegar, oil, onion, spices) – let cook in own juice
Add little water as you go
glass vinegar – put in when half done
Cooks 2 hours
Put potatoes
Mushroom – button canned
Peas – freshSOURCE: Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters