I was scared to cook a turkey. It always looked so hard. I always remembered people looking like they have run a race after cooking this beast. One year, I jumped in and decided I would figure it out. I hope my post how you cook a turkey will help even the newest cook roast a delicious turkey.
1 stick of Butter
Salt and Pepper
Herbs (You can use rosemary) I cheat and use Herbes De Provence (it sounds fancy and tastes great)
This is how you cook a turkey.
1) If your turkey is frozen, you will need to thaw it in the refrigerator DAYS before Thanksgiving. If you have screwed up and didn’t do this, you can put it in cold water to thaw. Make sure you keep changing the water until it is thawed. I hope you didn’t have plans as this will take a while.
2) You will actually need to wash the turkey. Just use water. Do NOT use soap.
3) Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. I can imagine my husband grabbing a dish towel so I am being specific.
Prepping and Seasoning the Turkey
4) First things first, take out everything that is in the turkey. It most likely has stuff in there. This stuff will be used in your gravy.
5) Be sure to cut a little piece of skin to allow for room for your hand to go under the skin. Make a little clip up near the neck area and on the bottom.
6) Divide the butter in half and place one half in a measuring cup for later. Cut the second half into thin squares.
7) Place the thin slices of butter under the skin of the turkey.
8) Now place the turkey in a roaster pan.
9) Brush the outside of the turkey with olive oil
10) Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on the outside of the turkey.
11) To finish seasoning the turkey, sprinkle on the herb of your choice. I used Herbes De Provence
12) Place 1 cup of chicken broth at the bottom of your turkey roasting pan
13) If you like, you can place the turkey in a roasting bag. I don’t do this though it does make clean up easier. I just buy a foil roasting pan which can be tossed after the meal.
Cooking the Turkey
14) Turn your oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven has reached 400 degrees, place the turkey in the oven with foil over the turkey for 60 minutes.
15) After 60 minutes, turn the temperature down to 325 degree for the remaining cooking time
16) I set my microwave timer to go off every 30 minutes so I can go over and pour the liquid at the bottom of the pan over the turkey. This is called basting.
17) Thirty minutes before the bird should be done, remove the foil.
18) Check the turkey often to see that it reaches 180 degrees. Be sure to do this in the fattest part of the bird.
19) You can crisp the skin by melting the remaining half of the butter and painting it on the skin of the turkey.
20) Once the turkey reaches 180 degrees, turn the oven to BROIL for about 3 minutes while watching carefully to make sure you do not burn the turkey.
21) Place foil lightly over the top and let the turkey rest before serving.
22) Finally, put your perfectly cooked bird on a serving platter. Don’t forget to throw flour on your forehead and pretend this was VERY hard.
How Long to Cook a Turkey
• 12-pound turkey: 3 to 4 hours at 325 degrees
• 15-pound turkey: 4 to 4 ½ hours at 325 degrees
• 18-pound turkey: 4 ½ to 5 hours at 325 degrees
• 20-pound turkey: 5 to 6 hours at 325 degrees
I came up with some awesome ways to use leftovers.. Turkey Leftovers