One question that is on the mind of many a person this time of year is, "What is the best way to roast a turkey?" The answer will depend upon the flavorings you like in your turkey, among other things. The recipe for Herb Roasted Turkey that follows is just one example of how to cook a traditional turkey.
Something else to remember is that if you want to learn how to cook a traditional turkey, it doesn't have to be a difficult undertaking. So often, when people learn how to cook a turkey, they learn a complicated way to do it. With a recipe for easy roast turkey, cooking Thanksgiving turkey does not have to be difficult. Check out these two recipes and see for yourself how easy...and how much fun cooking Thanksgiving turkey can be!
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
- 1 18-pound turkey, neck and giblets reserved for stock
- 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- ¾ pounds leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 325F°.
- Combine butter and half each of the rosemary and thyme in a bowl. Add a generous amount of salt and blend.
- Season inside of turkey cavity with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add carrots, leeks and remaining rosemary and thyme to inside cavity.
- Truss bird with string.
- Pat skin dry with paper towels.
- Brush a portion of the herb butter mixture over turkey.
- Place turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan.
- Roast turkey about 20 minutes per pound, basting with chicken stock and brushing with herbed butter every 25 minutes until a meat thermometer registers 175F° when inserted into thickest part of the thigh (or when thigh and leg fall easily away when pulled).
- Remove turkey from oven. Reserve fat from cooking juices for mushroom gravy. Discard remaining fat. Reserve cooking juices for mushroom gravy.
- Let turkey stand 20 minutes before carving.
- 1 12-pound turkey, defrosted
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoon dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 325F°.
- Transfer turkey to a rack in a large roasting pan. Return the legs to the band of skin or wire. Fold the wings back and underneath the bird.
- Pour the water and ½ cup sherry into the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Combine remaining sherry, garlic, black pepper, poultry seasoning, paprika, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Brush over the skin of the turkey.
- Completely enclose the turkey in aluminum foil, crimping the foil around the edges of the pan to seal.
- Bake for 3 to 4 hours. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove foil and baste with pan juices.
- When turkey is done, a thermometer inserted in the thigh will read 180 to 185 degrees F, and the drumsticks will move easily in the sockets.
- Remove turkey from the oven, and allow it to sit, loosely covered with foil, for 20 minutes before carving.
Notes: Remove the package containing the giblets and neck from the cavities of the turkey. You may have to release the legs from a band of skin or a wire in order to remove the giblets and neck. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, and dry it with paper towels. Trim off any excess fat.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about cooking Thanksgiving turkey is to have fun doing it! Gather your family around, let everyone help, spin some tunes and enjoy. If you'd like to find more ways of cooking Thanksgiving turkey, check out these 8 easy turkey recipes for your Thanksgiving feast.