Generously rub salt and pepper inside the cavity,
along with whatever other herbs and spices you're
using. This should be done alone, as anyone
watching will giggle at you.
You can also push seasoned butter or olive oil
under the skin of the breast, and around the
thighs. You can use your fingers, or push a thin
silicon spatula under the skin to separate it from
the meat. This not only flavors the turkey, but
also helps keep it moist and juicy.
Lastly, rub the outside skin of the turkey with
butter or oil, and season with salt and pepper.
This triple application of flavor will mean an end
to bland birds.
A properly prepped turkey will go a long way to
ensure a successful roasting, and a very
attractive bird. These three steps are fast and
easy, but make a huge difference.
Pull the wing tips forward and tuck them under the
breasts so they don't burn. This also keeps the
turkey sitting nice and straight.
After seasoning, tie the legs together with
kitchen string or dental floss (plain, not minty
fresh). This important step will ensure even
cooking, and a beautifully shaped turkey.
Loosely cover the breasts with a piece of foil.
This will help keep the turkey moist, and prevent
the breasts from getting too brown. Remove the
foil for the last hour of roasting to brown the
Cook (Not Overcook) Low and Slow in a Moist,
Leave the turkey out for one hour before roasting
to take the chill off. Cut two carrots, two ribs
of celery, and an onion into large chunks. Place
on the bottom of your roasting pan. Place the
turkey, breast side up on top of the vegetables.
Add about a half-inch of liquid (water or stock)
to the roasting pan. This will keep the oven
moist, and the turkey juicy. This aromatic liquid
can be used to baste the turkey while it cooks
(there is a debate whether basting does anything,
but it's part of the tradition). Also, the pan
drippings will be even more flavorful if you're
planning to make gravy.
Roast at 325 degrees F., for approximately 15-20
minutes per pound. This is just an estimate - be
sure to use a meat thermometer to get a perfect
Now, if you've followed the procedures above, you
are about to cut into the most delicious, juiciest
turkey you've ever had, but STOP!!! Sorry, didn't
mean to startle you, but you must let the turkey
rest for AT LEAST 20 minutes.
When you remove it from the oven, cover it very
loosely with foil, and go about getting your side
dishes to the table (or have a glass of wine and
delegate). Don't worry, it won't get cold; a
covered 20-lb turkey will stay hot for over 40
minutes, so don't rush it.
Letting it rest not only gives you time to finish
the gravy, and the rest of the meal, but also
allows the juices in the turkey to redistribute,
which is the secret to moist, tender meat.
Remove the turkey when it reads 165 degrees F. in the thickest part of the thigh meat. Here is an approximate turkey cooking time guide for roasting a
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