How to Roast a Turkey – learn easy techniques to perfectly roast a turkey. Step by step instructions from start to finish.
Well with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, it’s time to roast a turkey. I love love this season. And how can you not? You can’t turn the TV on without seeing a Christmas movie on and I just can’t help myself, I watch them all. I can watch Christmas movies all day long. As a matter of fact, as I’m sitting here writing this post to you I am watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. How can you not love this movie, Chevy Chase is the best.
So have you roasted a turkey before? Well don’t be scared, it’s just a big bird. Over the years, I’ve watched my mother roast turkeys over and over again. I love everything about roasting a turkey. The smell in the kitchen, the holiday atmosphere all around and of course, eating that delicious turkey.
This recipe here for a roast turkey is quite simple. I stuffed the turkey with an onion, quartered, garlic cloves and lemon. I brushed it with a lemon flavored butter, generously and I mean generously and seasoned it with salt and pepper.
I used a large roasting pan with a lid, but if you don’t have a lid, aluminum foil works just as well. I like to cook my turkey covered for about an hour, just so that it doesn’t really burn on top, and then I remove the lid or aluminum foil and roast it until it’s done to perfection. The best way to know when your turkey is done is to use a meat thermometer and the breast should be 165 F degrees and the thigh should read 180 F degrees.
That’s all there is to it. Some people cook the turkey breast side down, but my mom has always cooked it breast side up. Now you can always start with breast side down and an hour before it’s done you can flip the turkey with breast side up, this way both sides are nicely roasted. Also if you like a very crispy turkey, you can always crank up the heat or turn your broiler on to get that extra crispy skin.
And my last tip, just like with any roast, you need to let your meat sit and rest after removing it from the oven, keep those juices in there, and then you can carve it anyway you want.
If you guys love this recipe, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let us know. Take a picture and tag it #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!
- 1 fresh turkey 10 to 12 lbs
- 1/2 cup butter unsalted
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 1 onion quartered
- 10 cloves garlic
Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the lemon zest and juice and the teaspoon of thyme to the butter and stir. Set aside.
Wash the turkey and make sure you remove the giblets from inside the turkey cavity. I also usually trim some of the excess fat around the neck of the turkey.
Place the turkey in a large roasting pan with a roasting rack. Salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the turkey with the onion, garlic and thyme.
Brush the turkey with the butter mixture all over and generously season with salt and pepper.
Tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey, this will help stabilize the turkey when carving, plus it makes it easier to carve the breast. Tie the legs together with butcher twine.
Cover the turkey with the lid, or if your roasting pan doesn't have a lid cover with aluminum foil.
Roast the turkey for an hour, remove lid or aluminum foil. Roast for an additional 2 to 3 hours. Use a meat thermometer to know when the turkey is done. When the thermometer is inserted in the breast it should read 165 F degrees, and 180 F degrees in the thigh.
Remove the turkey from the roasting pan to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
Slice turkey and serve.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Here are some other recipes perfect for Thanksgiving