EASY, JUICY, FLAVORFUL THANKSGIVING TURKEY
What do you usually eat on Thanksgiving day? And what do you usually cook for your birthday celebration? What do you usually eat on your special day?For me it's turkey. A whole lotta turkey. Every year my birthday falls either on Thanksgiving day or the day after when we eat turkey leftovers. So I decided that if I had to have turkey every year, I better come up with a recipe that is full of flavor, juicy, tender and easy (who wants to spend their birthday in the kitchen peeking into the oven window). I've tried brining my bird but it produced the same results as if I didn't brine it, plus having to search for the extra space in my refrigerator and an extra large stock pot isn't fun either, so I stopped brining. But, if you are getting a wild turkey, brining will actually help to make it juicier and tender. Turkeys I get usually are from the farm or the store, nothing wild about that. I've tried cooking my birds at various temperatures, marinating, leaving the turkey uncovered in the fridge to dry to get a crispy skin, basting... and then, eureka... after years of experimenting my search was over, now I have my gobble gobble perfect turkey recipe. I suggest investing in a good quality kitchen thermometer- you will get a perfectly cooked, juicy, and succulent bird every time. You will also need a piece of aluminum foil to cover the legs and the breast of the bird to prevent it from drying while the rest of the bird is still getting cooked. You can tuck the wing tips under the body or you can use steel prongs to keep them in place.If you do not have a roasting rack- place fresh chopped vegetables on the bottom of the pan to elevate the turkey. You can use 4 celery ribs, 4 large carrots and 2 onions, 2 lemons halved or quartered.The cooking temperature for the turkey when you should take it out of the oven is 165 degrees F. I recommend letting the bird rest on your kitchen counter for 20 minutes after taking it out of the oven. Your bird will rise about 5-10 degrees F more as it rests. That's when it is already cooked and is very moist and juicy.For the cooking time, allow 13-15 minutes for every pound that turkey shows on a scale.I will not get into the nutritional benefits of eating turkey or roasted vegetables cooked in turkey juices because...well, it's good, it's delicious, it's Thanksgiving turkey! If you have any leftovers left, and most of us do, just take the meat of the bones and freeze it to use in salads or sandwiches and use the turkey carcass and bones to make the stock for the soup.
- Roasting pan with roasting rack
- Kitchen thermometer
- 12-20 lb turkey
- 1/2 onion
- 2 springs fresh rosemary
- 2 springs fresh thyme
- 2 springs fresh sage
FOR THE HERB BUTTER
- 1/2 cup ghee
- 1 tbsp rosemary dry
- 1 tbsp thyme dry
- 1/2 tbsp sage dry
- salt 1-2 tsp, depends on the size of your bird
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 5 cloves garlic grated
- If your turkey is frozen, thaw it in the fridge- 24 hours for every 5 lbs of turkey weight. (So if your turkey is 20 lbs- you'll need about 4 days to thaw it)
- Remove the thawed turkey from the fridge 1 hours before roasting and let it come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and set the oven racks so that your roasting pan with turkey sits in the middle of the oven.
- Remove the bird from packaging and remove the neck and giblets from the inside the cavities. Pat the turkey very dry with paper towels, including the cavities. Use your fingers to loosen and lift the skin above the breasts and part of the legs .
- Smooth a few tablespoons of the herb butter underneath the skin of the turkey and all over the outer skin of the turkey, on both sides, including legs and wings. Smooth the herb butter inside the cavity of the turkey and stuff it with fresh herbs and some onion quarters. Tie the legs together with string (optional) and tuck the wing tips under the body or use steel prongs to keep them in place.
- Roast the turkey at 325 degrees F for about 13-15 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature reaches at least about 165 degrees. Check the turkey halfway through the cooking- once the skin gets golden brown, cover the top of the turkey with foil to protect the breast meat from overcooking and drying out. You can also instead start cooking the turkey with the breast meat covered in foil and taking off the foil to let the turkey brown an hour or so before it's cooked.
- When the turkey is done, take it out of the oven, cover in foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving. Discard the herbs and onion from inside the turkey.
MAKE THE HERB BUTTER
- In a mixing bowl, combine dry herbs- rosemary, thyme, sage; add grated garlic, ghee, salt and pepper and mix to combine.
- Place the sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage facing the same direction. Tie the string around the herbs to hold them all together.
If you do not have a roasting rack- place fresh chopped vegetables on the bottom of the pan to elevate the turkey. You can use 4 celery ribs, 4 large carrots and 2 onions, 2 lemons halved or quartered.
Serving: 1servingCalories: 631kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 84gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 301mgSodium: 434mgPotassium: 884mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 275IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 4mg
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