The holiday’s are approaching quickly and there is no better time to share family recipes. If you’re looking for a holiday turkey recipe that makes a moist, flavorful turkey, than my family roast turkey recipe is for you.
One of our new family traditions is to host a “Friendsgiving” a few weeks before Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect time to reconnect with friends and enjoy great food before the busyness of the holidays hit. Our Friendsgiving is potluck style and every friend brings a favorite dish, and every year the food has been fantastic. Since we host Friendsgiving at our house, we prepare the roast turkey and here’s how we do it.
Attorney David O shares his Family Turkey Recipe
- 1 10-12 pound turkey
- 1/3 cup butter
- 2 tbsp. turkey seasonings
- 6 celery stocks, cleaned and cut in quarters
- 2 medium onions, peeled and cut in quarters
- wooden skewer
- cooking string
Step 1. Clean the Turkey. Remove the turkey from any packaging. Next find the turkey neck and giblets that are usually tucked within the turkey cavities, take them out. You can either discard them, or use the neck and giblets for making gravy or other favorite recipes. Using very cold water, rinse the turkey well, inside and outside. When rinsing the skin check for any feather pins and remove.
Step 2. Brining the Turkey. Brining is the process of soaking uncooked poultry or pork in a salted ice water bath for typically 12 to 36 hour. Brines can be made at home with salt and favorite seasonings and fruits or they can be purchased at a store. We have three young kids, under the age of seven, so we choose the time-saving route and purchase a brine at the store. Simply follow the directions on the package and let the brining begin. The brining process is our secret weapon to ensuring a moist, flavorful turkey.
Step 3. Remove the Turkey from the Brine. Just before roasting, carefully remove the turkey from the brine and rinse the turkey throughly with cold water removing all the brine and seasoning residue. Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel.
Step 4. Prepare for Roasting. For a crisp skin, we like to use small pats of butter under the skin. With a sharp knife, make small incision pockets all over the skin of the turkey while being careful not to pierce the meat. After making approximately 8-12 incisions, place the small pats of butter inside each pocket. Next, using your favorite seasoning blend, generously rub the seasonings onto the turkey. Make sure to sprinkle some seasonings into the turkey cavity as well. If you like to fill your turkey with stuffing, this is the time. If you prefer to cook stuffing separately, like we do, than fill the turkey cavity with cut up celery and onion.
Step 5. Truss the Turkey. Taking the time to truss a turkey will help the turkey cook more evenly and will prevent burnt wings. To truss the turkey first pull the neck sin over the turkey back and secure it with a skewer. Next, tightly cross the two turkey legs and tie with string. Now tuck the wings under the back of the turkey, this will prevent them from over browning. Nice work, now it’s time to roast!
Step 6. Roasting. Place your turkey in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Cover loosely with foil. Cook the turkey in a preheated oven at 325°F for 3 1/4 – 3 1/2 hours or until a cooking thermometer registers 180°F in the thickest part of the meat and the juices run clear. During cooking, be sure to cut the string from the legs at 2 1/2 hours so the drumsticks and thigh cook evenly. Also remove the foil for the last 45 minutes for a beautiful brown color.
Step 7. Enjoy! Remove the turkey from the oven and let it sit undisturbed for 15-20 minutes. Next carve the turkey and arrange slices on a serving platter for all to enjoy. Yum! Yum!
Happy Holidays from our family to yours! – Attorney David O