Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe turns out beautifully every time! It not only turns out picture perfect, but is full of flavor and super tender! Wow your family and friends by making this recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
I can’t get over how fun it is to make this turkey! Sounds a bit random to say about a recipe, but it’s true. The reason I love it so much is that it is completely fool proof. And have you checked out these pictures. It looks like the luscious turkeys they serve in a classic Christmas movie. The perfect turkey that you can’t help, but want to slice into through the TV!
The story behind how I came about this recipe was a whole lot of research to make the perfect turkey for my oldest son. He was 7 at the time and the holidays were coming up.
I am going to share with you the exact step by step that you’ll need to do.
How To Make The Perfect Turkey
- Remove the fully thawed turkey from it’s packaging and drain off any liquid into the sink. Also remove any giblets and neck pieces from the cavity.
- Place it into a large roast pan.
3. Salt the bird with about 1 TBSP of kosher salt. That’s for a 20 lb turkey so you made need less if your bird is smaller.
4. Cover it with plastic wrap and and place in the refrigeratory 24 hours before you want to roast it. Overnight works well.
5. The day you want to roast it, pull out your turkey, remove the plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.
6. 1 hour before you want to place your turkey into the oven you will cook your basting liquid.
7. In a medium sauce pan bring chicken stock, thyme, garlic, onions, butter and pepper to a boil.
8. Once it has come to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer mixture for 10 minutes.
9. Cook for 30 minutes then soak cheesecloth in basting liquid for about 5 minutes.
10. Place cut up carrots, celery and onions in the roasting pan and tuck some under the turkey.
11. Drape the soaked cheesecloth over the bird making sure it’s completely covered.
12. Pour over reserved liquid slowly.
13. Roast the bird at a high temp of 425 for 45 minutes.
14. Reduce heat to 375 and cook for remaining time according to the chart below based on the size of your turkey.
15. Carefully remove cheesecloth 30 minutes before finished cooking time to allow for the skin to get golden brown.
16. Allow your turkey to rest for 30-45 minutes before you carve into it. This will ensure a juicy turkey.
Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe
Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe
- 14-20 lb Whole Turkey
- 1 TBSP Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Freshly Cracked Pepper
- 4 Cups Chicken or Fresh Turkey Stock
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Peeled and Quartered
- 4 Whole Garlic Cloves, Peeled and Slightly Crushed
- 6 Sprigs Thyme
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter
- Cheese Cloth
- 6 Celery Stalks, Cut In Half
- 4 Large Carrots, Peeled and Quartered
- THE NIGHT BEFORE:Remove your thawed or fresh turkey from the fridge, open it up and place it on your roasting rack that has been placed in your roasting tray.
- Remove any giblets or innards and place the neck into the bottom of the roasting tray. This will be roasted along with the turkey and just add more flavor to your future gravy.
- Pat dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle 1 TBSP salt over the entire bird and inside the cavity. This will help break down the turkey meat, making it super tender.
- Tie legs together with cotton twine, turn wings under the back of the turkey (so they won’t burn) and make sure the neck skin is folded under the back tightly.
- Cover the entire tray with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill overnight.
- THE DAY OF:Remove the turkey from the fridge and place on the counter 1 1/2 hours before you put it in the oven. Bringing it to room temperature will help ensure an evenly cooked bird.
- Place cut celery and carrots in the roasting pan and under the turkey. They will act as roasting rack to help the heat circulate around the entire bird.
- Place the oven rack on the lowest rung and preheat your even to 425 degrees.
- 1 hour before you start to cook the turkey, pour the the chicken stock into a medium pot.
- Add in onion, garlic, thyme sprigs and butter to pan
- Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Cool the mixture for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the bird and season with pepper.
- Dip cheesecloth in the basting liquid until completely soaked.
- Place wet cheesecloth over the entire turkey like pictured above.
- Slowly pour or spoon the remaining stock mixture over the cheesecloth. Disperse the onion, garlic and sprigs around the roasting pan. Just make sure the cheesecloth is completely soaked. This is what helps self baste the turkey during the cooking process.
- Place the turkey into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. If you are using a foil disposable pan, place it on a large baking sheet for easy transfer.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375 and cook for the remainder of the time left for the size of your turkey. See chart below.
- For the last 10 minutes of cook time, carefully remove browned cheesecloth and let it brown a bit more.
- Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving. This will allow all the juices to soak back into the meat.