"Simple, perfect roast turkey just like grandma used to make. Seasoned with salt and pepper, and basted with turkey stock, the flavors of the turkey really stand out. Stuff with your favorite dressing." — Syd
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1 (18 pound)
unsalted butter, softened
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 quarts
This is the turkey recipe I used when I roasted my first-ever 19lb bird three years ago. It turned out perfectly then and has every year since.
My version calls for placing the turkey on a v-shaped rack in the roasting pan. This allows air to circulate under the bird and should address any issues related to the bottom not cooking as thoroughly as the top or being soggy. I have never had to turn the bird over.
Other hints: truss the wings under the bird with baking string or wrap in aluminum foil to keep from over-browning. For the rest of the turkey, I place the aluminum foil tightly over the breast-portion only. Then, I remove the foil on the breast 1 hour before the bird is done (my 19lb birds, stuffed, tend to roast in about 5 hours, so I remove at the 4 hour mark). The breast is always beautifully brown and not overdone; very juicy! Baste as directed (every 30 minutes) with turkey or chicken stock. When you check the temperature, be sure you're not hitting the bone; keep it in the fleshy part of the thigh meat. I also check the internal temperature of the stuffing to ensure it's at 160.
Standing time is *important.* I rest mine at least 30 minutes, up to 45. It won't get cold--keeps it juicy!
I use good quality boxed or homemade chicken stock instead of turkey stock.
This is such an easy recipe. You don't need to over-think it or second-guess it. It's worked for me every single time. And...the drippings make delicious pan gravy! Enjoy!
This was my first attempt at a turkey and I'm sure I must have done something wrong, but I can't figure it out. I had a 16 lb turkey and followed this recipe exactly. I even set a timer to baste every 30 minutes as instructed. The turkey "looked" perfect, like out of a movie or something. However, after 5 1/2 hours of cooking, this turkey was still not totally cooked.
I used this recipe for our Thanksgiving turkey and my family loved it! I put 1/4 cup of butter between the breast meat and the skin, then after each basting I brushed the entire turkey with melted butter. Not the greatest method for calorie counting, but I've never had a turkey so moist. It was incredible!
OH MY GOSH... what a shock to see *my* secret recipe on the internet... lol. I've always done my turkey mostly this way. I also put butter under the skin as some reviewers do... and use chicken broth. Oh!! and big ol chunks of onions and celery around, under and in the bird. But (I don't recommend this method) I put my bird in on 250 degrees late late Wednesday night... don't baste at all, get up early and remove foil, baste REALLY well, turn up the heat to 375 until brown, basting often. Always excellent!! Frees up my oven, we wake up to the smell of *Thanksgiving* and it really sets a great mood for the day. Have done this for years!!
This is a great recipe to follow for a traditional turkey for the holidays. I never used stock in the bottom of the pan before and it added great flavor to the gravy. I have been making turkey for T-day for 27 years now. I suggest the following additions: choose a fresh turkey, rub softened butter under the skin of the turkey breast too, and put the turkey in the oven @ 425 for the first 1/2 to 1 hour (especially if it is right out of the fridge, or plan on adding cooking time).
I made this turkey last year for my first ever attempt at Thanksgiving. It was so juicy that we barely recognized it as turkey! One tip for those who don't have a roasting rack and want to avoid the sogginess that is mentioned, place the turkey on top of whole carrots. The carrots will keep the turkey above the broth, and this way you can use a disposable aluminum roaster. I followed the recipie to a T last year, but this year I'm going to add some citrus in the cavity and some lemon zest and parsely to the butter. This is a great recipie as is, but it is so simple that its easy to add your own flair. The broth in the bottom is really what gets the amazing results!
Made this last night. Make sure that you put a bit of butter between the skin and the meat...like another reviewer suggested, and don't forget to baste the turkey. It turned out wonderful and so moist. This is definatly a great basic and easy turkey recipe. Thanks for the post.
If you want a moist bird this is the recipe you've been looking for. EASY & JUICY. Thanks
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
A Simply Perfect Roast Turkey
Serving Size: 1/24 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 24
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 304
Take the guesswork out of preparing the perfect roast turkey.
See a simple beginner-friendly method for roasting a moist, beautiful turkey.
Watch a very simple method for prepping and roasting turkey.