One more day until Turkey Day! Who is excited??
Thanksgiving dinner is nothing without the big shebang, the Turkey. While many people avoid it because of the notorious history of the dried out other white meat, it does not have to be that way. There are tons of recipes online that claim to have the best, tender, juiciest Turkey ever, but many recipes are found lacking, until now.
I am a fan of the dark meat. Always have been, always will be. But using this cooking technique is a game changer.
Families have passed down recipes for holidays but if you are like me and want to make my own traditions, read more.
So here goes… This recipe has come highly recommended by a good friend of mine. He swears by it and I trust his judgement as I have had tasted the fruits of his labor and agree.
First make sure your bird is thawed, proper way to thaw is in the fridge! Do not thaw in the microwave or under cold running water.
Little cheat sheet:
8-12lbs 2-3 days
13-16lbs 3-4 days
17-20lbs 4-5 days
21-24lbs 5-6 days
12-24 hours before Thanksgiving
- Brine the Turkey, this step is not a necessity. I do it because I cannot stand dry turkey, here is the Brine that I used: Super Amaze Turkey Brine (easy peasy)
- Take Turkey out of fridge to reach room temperature about an hour before you want to cook.
- Slice up a stick of butter (1/8 inch thick)
- Place in between the breast and the skin, as much as you like, this keeps the meat extra juicy, I also add springs of Rosemary and Thyme. Do it up you can add any herbs!
- Salt the outside of the turkey, (if you brined, you can skip this)
- I am not a fan of stuffing and it is really bad to cook stuffing in a turkey so I say skip it (or just make your own stove top stuffing) I put sliced up oranges, more springs of rosemary and thyme, and some cloves of garlic in the cavity of the turkey.
The best part, the cooking method: Remember DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN!!
- Preheat oven to 475°, yes I said it 475°!!!
- Once the oven is preheated, place the turkey uncovered breast up or down, easier to check temp if it is up, some say juicer if it is down, on the middle rack. This is very important. Middle rack! Right smack dab in the middle of the oven. (If you have a big bird over 20 lbs place on lower rack, that is the exception)
- Set your timer to 20 minutes
- Once the timer dings reset the temperature to 250° (DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN)
- Set the timer for 20 minutes per pound (for an 18 pound turkey that equates to 6 hours)
- If you have brined the turkey keep a watch on it an hour before the completion time, they tend to cook faster.
- Try to test your turkey’s temp minimally towards the end. When you open the oven, heat escapes and cause the temp to decrease taking the turkey longer to cook. Better yet invest in an electronic meat thermometer. They stay in the turkey and you avoid opening the oven. There is also a little pop up timer that comes in turkeys, I do not recommend going by that timer, it often results in an over cooked turkey.
- Turkey is cooked at a temperature of 170° for the breast and 180° for the thigh. Make sure to insert in the thickest part of the meat.
- Once cooked, take out and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Let’s discuss how amazing this is:
- No basting needed
- No water needed
- Uncovered for some crispy delicious skin
- Little work involved
What is your absolute fool proof way of cooking that delicious, mouthwatering large hunk of meat? Share below and let’s make every Holiday meal amazing!!