Perfectly Easy Thanksgiving Turkey
Perfectly Easy Thanksgiving Turkey
This perfectly easy Thanksgiving turkey recipe will have you second guessing every turkey roasting process you have ever been told. Trust me when I tell you that this will be the BEST Thanksgiving turkey you ever make. This recipes creates a juicy bird with crispy crackling skin and the juiciest white and dark meat you have every sank your teeth into.
Start Thinking About Your Turkey About A Week Before Thanksgiving
This is especially important if you are a first time turkey roaster. Turkeys need to thaw in the fridge and they need time. Some very large birds can take several days to thaw. It takes 24 hours in the fridge per every five pounds of bird. Therefore if you have a twenty pound turkey, plan on it taking 4 days to thaw properly.For my perfectly easy Thanksgiving turkey you also need a day for the turkey to sit in the fridge overnight uncovered, so make sure you factor this in as well.
No Basting, No Problem
My method of turkey roasting has you putting the turkey in the oven at a very high heat for a short amount of time, then turning down the temperature without opening the door. If you follow the tips I share in the full, printable recipe below, you will have your turkey in as small of a pan as possible which creates more juices and no need for basting. Remember that every time you open the oven door, you add 20 to 30 minutes of cook time and this ends up making the turkey take longer and in turn, drying it out.
Use A Small Roasting Pan
You want your turkey to fit in the pan and not be spilling out the sides but you wan it to just fit the roaster. This is because the more surface area you have in the pan allows the juices and drippings to spread. This liquid gold is spreading on a hot surface and evaporating all those juices that you will want to use for gravy later. Keep it tight and bright when picking a roaster.
Slice and Season Your Butter
Everyone struggles to massage the butter all over their bird under the skin as well as season it. I season my butter slices and when the butter melts it spreads and the seasoning spreads all on its own. Let the bird work for you!
Let Your Bird Breathe
Dry off, salt and pepper the inside and outside of your turkey the night before.Then let it sit uncovered in your fridge overnight. This lets the skin dry out a little bit and yields a crispier skin. IF leaving it uncovered weirds you out, very loosely cover it.
The full recipe is below. You can print it and save it. I really recommend making a Sunday turkey for football watching in October and this was you can make some turkey stock for the Thanksgiving holiday as well as practice this method ahead of time. This will prove to yourself that this is THE perfect method. I have another great Thanksgiving recipe for you for The BEST stuffing. CLICK HERE! I also have a method for making turkey stock for the big day. Click here for that recipe.
- This is for a 15 to 20 pound bird
- 1 Turkey Bird (Make sure you thaw your bird a few days in a advance, it can take days to thaw a bird in the fridge so pay attention to how much time you will need)
- 2 sticks of salted butter
- 1 large sweet onion
- 1 large red apple
- 4 to 6 cloves of peeled garlic
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Poultry Seasoning
- Any Cooking Oil You Choose
- Choose a roasting pan that just fits your bird. Do not use a giant pan, the larger the surface area of your pan, the more the turkey drippings spread out and evaporate. The smaller the pan, the more turkey juices you will have to make gravy. The more juices there are, the more it will help "steam" the bird, therefore you will not have to baste this bird.
- The night before you bake your bird, dry off your bird with a paper towel, I dry off the inside. Then lightly salt and pepper the inside and outside of your turkey. Place the bird in the fridge overnight uncovered. If you are weirded out by this, VERY loosely drape the bird with some plastic wrap. You want to make sure there is air flow around your turkey. This is so you get a very crispy skin, which also helps seal in the juices when its baking.
- The day of baking the bird, Take out your butter and cut each stick into slices. Season all the butter slices with the salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders, sage and poultry seasoning.
- Cut your onion and apple in half and season with all the same seasonings. Remember you salted the bird the night before so keep that in mind when you are using the salt.
- Add half the slices from one stick of butter to the inside of the turkey, then shove in the apple, onion and garlic.
- Loosen the skin all over the top and legs and put all the rest of the slices of seasoned butter under the skin, all over the bird. As the butter melts it will naturally spread and distribute the seasonings.
- Rub the bird all over with whatever oil you choose. I use about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. I season the top again with all the seasonings, keeping in mind the salt I already used.
- Now here’s the trick, when ready to cook, preheat the oven to 475° stick the bird in and leave it at that temperature for 15 minutes, at 15 minutes, DO NOT OPEN the door, turn it down to 350° and let it cook. Never open the door; this adds cook time . Factor about 13 minutes of cook time per pound from when you go down to 350°. Check the bird at about 3 hours for temp. When the thickest part of the bird is at 155° turn off the oven, crack the door and let the bird rest 30 minutes. It will continue to cook 20 degrees.
- After he bird has rested 30 minutes, you can carve it.