Simple Roast Turkey Recipe: the Best Traditional Roasted Turkey
Fortunately, with a few tips for cooking a perfect turkey and this simple roast turkey recipe, you can make a successful, flavorful turkey without a whole lot of fun. When a creature tastes this good, after all, it doesn't need a really complex recipe to shine.
Try the recipe below! Or check out some of my other pages for tips in cooking a turkey, including:
Before I go into my simple roast turkey recipe, let's talk a bit about turkey safety.
Turkey Safety First!
Thawing the Turkey. When using any poultry product, it's very important to follow suitable processes for thawing and cooking your bird. First, while you can use the water method of defrosting the turkey, it's much safer to do so in the refrigerator. This is going to take longer. A fifteen pound turkey needs to sit in the refrigerator for 3-4 days to fully defrost.
Stuffing the Turkey. When you're ready to cook the turkey, wash your hands thoroughly and then rinse and dry the bird. Note that it is not suggested that you stuff the turkey until just prior to cooking, or you'll risk bacteria growth. And don't pack the stuffing in too tight!
Keeping Surfaces Clean. Your work isn't done quite yet, though. Remember to clean up the work space, especially any areas that the turkey or its juices have touched-- you don't want to spread bacteria around.
Assuring Proper Doneness. Make sure to cook the bird at 325-350 degrees F to kill bacteria, and before serving the turkey the meat needs to reach a temperature of 165 degrees for it to be fully done (a fifteen pound stuffed bird requires about three hours to reach this temperature). Taking these steps makes sure that no one will accidentally get sick from the turkey.
It's nearly impossible to go wrong with this utterly flavorful yet wonderfully simple roast turkey recipe. The herbs and flavorings used combine to lend a subtle richness to the bird... but with no one flavor standing out. The only thing your guests will truly taste is a wonderful turkey.
The BEST Simple Roast Turkey Recipe
Oh, and this is probably THE best roasted turkey recipe if you want to make a great gravy from the drippings. Find out how to do just that right here.
A 10-pound bird will make enough to serve about 10 people without much left over. Making a large bird? Double the ingredients and adjust the turkey cooking time accordingly.
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For the Skin:
For the Cavity:
Instructions: 1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, chopped thyme, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
3. Place the turkey breast-side-up on a large but shallow-sided roasting pan with a rack.
4. To stuff the cavity, first sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Use plenty! Then insert the lemon, bunch of thyme, onion, and garlic.
5. To flavor the skin, spoon or brush the butter mixture all over the outside of the turkey. Sprinkle to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. With a bit of kitchen string, tie the drumsticks together and tuck the wings over. This helps to encourage even cooking.
7. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the pan.
8. Roast the turkey 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the internal temperature when tested with a meat thermometer reads 165 to 170 degrees F.
9. Remove to a platter, cover with a tent of foil, and let rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.
10. Carve the bird (find tips on carving a turkey here) and enjoy this wonderfully simple roast turkey recipe!
1. Fresh or Frozen: Fresh turkey is wonderful but you can only get it a day or so ahead of your event. In that regard frozen turkey is a little more convenient, but it takes a while to thaw. Consider your schedule then choose what's best so you're not rushing.
Nine Tips for Creating the
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There are lots more simple roast turkey recipes and ideas here at Divine Dinner Party. Check out:
If it's a fat bird with a beard (no, I don't mean your Aunt Marjorie), we can help you cook it. Click on the icon above or click here to get started with recipes and tips on how to cook a turkey for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any time of year.
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