The biggest food day of the year is just around the corner. Chefs and newbies everywhere are rolling up their sleeves to prepare a delicious (we hope!) roast of turkey to set on the table. With this fool proof recipe, you are sure to satisfy all and enjoy a delicious and JUICY turkey this Thanksgiving.
The first step is to brine the turkey the day before. This not only serves as an essential marinade, but it helps infuse this big lean bird with plenty extra liquids so that as it cooks, you are not drying out the tender meat. This leaves you with a nice moist turkey that even your pickiest eaters will love! Check out my easy brine recipe here!
Once you wash the turkey of the salty brine solution, you will prepare a delicious lemon garlic juice to pour all over the turkey, similar to my lemon herb roast chicken. I also fill the turkey with a couple of lemons, rosemary, and thyme and cover it with small bits of butter all over. It is important to use FRESH rosemary and thyme because it is full of the flavorful and scented oils. The dried herbs, are well, DRY. So not nearly as much lovely oils to perfume and flavor your meat. I made my stuffing in a separate casserole dish, but still used the turkey drippings to cook it. The turkey can come out of the oven sooner if its not stuffed, which will help prevent over cooking the meat.
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As the turkey roasts, baste it with its juices every 1 1/2-2 hours. If you have a larger 20 lb turkey, like I did, it will take a good 5-6 hours to roast, so be sure to put it in the oven early! Check out average roast times on this helpful chart here.
Once the turkey is done, you will need to let it sit for about 20 minutes before carving. We have yet to master the carving part- so no pictures of that disaster haha! I also had a crowd of hungry people with their eyes “feasting” on this gorgeous roast, so could not take much time to photograph!
Serve with cranberry sauce and gravy! Stay tuned for my scratch recipes for gravy, cranberry chutney, green bean casserole, and stuffing to DIE for! Posting live 11/26/13!
- 3 lemons, juiced
- 1 lemon cut in half
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme + whole sprigs
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary + whole sprigs
- 1/2 stick butter, cut into 10 slices
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash the turkey clear of the brine solution and pat dry.
- Place the turkey in the roasting pan.
- Combine the lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and olive oil and stir well.
- Rub the turkey with salt and pepper liberally. Place pieces of butter all over the turkey, including underneath the turkey breast's skin.
- Pour the lemon marinade all over the bird and under the skin.
- Place the whole sliced lemons inside the turkey cavity, along with any extra sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
- Tie the legs together with cotton string.
- Cover loosely with foil and roast for 4-6 hours, depending on turkey's weight.
- Every hour or two, remove the turkey, close oven door to maintain interior temperature, and baste the turkey by pouring the turkey juices all over the top. Place back into oven to continue to roast.
- Prep time includes a 24 hour brine period the day before. Cook time varies depending on the weight of your turkey. Please check cook times for your bird's weight, as well as checking internal temperature with a meat thermometer.