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The most coveted dish (and recipe!) for Thanksgiving is, of course, the turkey! There are so many variations for a Thanksgiving turkey that you could browse the internet for weeks and continue to find more and more to look over. It’s hard to decide which recipe to use because they all sound amazing. I use the recipe below because it’s easy and it’s full proof to get a perfectly browned and juicy turkey. Let’s face it, as much as we would all like to cook and serve dinners like Martha Stewart, we need some easy tasks! You don’t have to slave over every aspect of a Thanksgiving dinner to make it perfect. Sometimes easy is the way to go, especially when half of the day is spent doing the dishes!
You can tweak this recipe as you see fit. There really isn’t just one way to make a turkey, as the internet will surely show you. But what I do highly suggest is to use the Reynolds Oven Bag for roasting. Gordon Ramsay would probably call it cheating, but I don’t have a dozen sous chefs to do all the prep work of slicing, dicing and peeling. The bag will keep the turkey from drying out without having to keep an eye on it constantly. That leaves me more time to prepare the rest of the dinner. This is a “set it and forget it” kind of turkey.
- 1 12-20 pound turkey
- 1 onion , peeled and quartered
- 1 lemon , quartered
- 1 orange, quartered (You could use an apple, if you wish).
- 1 container fresh parsley
- 1 container fresh thyme
- 1 container fresh sage
- 1 container of fresh rosemary (Or omit it because your family hates it).
- Reynolds Oven Bag
For the herb butter
- 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6-8 cloves garlic , minced
- Fresh chopped herbs (Measurements will be in the preparation description below).
Remove the thawed turkey from the fridge 1 hour before roasting, to let it come to room temperature. If your turkey isn’t thawed, pack everyone up and head to Denny’s or Perkins.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Make sure that you adjust the oven rack so that the turkey will cook in the middle of the oven.
- Make the herb butter by combining room temperature butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, one tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, one tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, and half a tablespoon of fresh chopped sage. (This can actually be made the night before so that it’s one less thing you have to worry about).
- Remove turkey from packaging and pat it dry. Don’t forget to discard the neck and giblets (Unless you want to use them for gravy. In that case, set them aside).
Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper. Stuff it with the quartered lemon, onion and orange and leftover herbs.
Use your fingers to loosen and lift the skin above the breasts (on the top of the turkey) and smooth a few tablespoons of the herb butter underneath.
- Set turkey on a roasting rack.
Microwave the remaining herb butter mixture for 30 seconds (it doesn’t need to be completely melted–just really softened). Use a basting brush to brush the remaining herb butter all over the outside of the turkey, legs and wings.
- Place turkey in a Reynolds Oven Bag.
Roast at 325 degrees F for about 13-15 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature (inserted on middle of thigh and breast) reaches about 165 degrees. (Or until the red button thingy pops out, if your turkey has one implanted).
- Allow turkey to rest 20-30 minutes before carving.
- Don’t forget to save the drippings for the turkey gravy.
Delicious! Perfectly golden, perfectly juicy, perfectly perfect!