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Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe

Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe is the easiest no fuss method to cook your turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Turkey, Thanksgiving, Christmas
Cook Time 3 hours
Author Amy Williams everythingeats.com

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 0g | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 0% | Vitamin C: 0% | Calcium: 0% | Iron: 0%