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Roast Turkey

Think roasting a turkey is out of your league? Not a chance! Here you can easily learn how to roast and carve a beautiful bird with confidence.

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  • Prep Time 20 min
  • Total Time 4 hr 20 min
  • Servings 12

1
whole turkey (12 to 15 lb), thawed if frozen*
3
tablespoons butter, melted, or vegetable oil

SAVE ON THIS RECIPE!

LOCATION

Directions

  • 1 Heat oven to 325°F. Discard giblets and neck or reserve for another use.
  • 2 Fold wings across back of turkey so tips are touching. If turkey doesn’t have an ovenproof plastic leg band holding legs together, tuck legs under band of skin at tail (if present), or tie legs together with kitchen string, then tie to tail if desired. Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in roasting pan. Brush butter over turkey. Insert oven proof meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of thigh but does not touch bone. (Do not add water or cover turkey.)
  • 3 Roast uncovered 3 hours to 3 hours 45 minutes. After roasting about 2 hours, remove leg band, cut band of skin or remove string holding legs to allow the inside of the thighs to cook thoroughly and evenly. Place tent of foil loosely over turkey to prevent excessive browning.
  • 4 Turkey is done when thermometer reads at least 165°F and legs move easily when lifted or twisted. Place turkey on warm platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Reserve drippings if making gravy. Let turkey stand 15 to 20 minutes for easiest carving.

EXPERT TIPS

Expert Tips

*For optimal food safety and even doneness, the USDA recommends cooking stuffing separately. However, if you choose to stuff poultry or game birds, it’s necessary to use an accurate food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum temperature of 165°F. Cooking home-stuffed poultry or game birds is riskier than cooking those that are not stuffed. Even if the poultry or game bird itself has reached the safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F, the stuffing may not have reached same temperature. Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165°F, possibly resulting in food-borne illness. Do not stuff poultry or game birds that will be grilled, smoked, fried or micro waved, because it will never get hot enough in the center to be safe.

In large clean bucket or stainless steel stockpot, mix 2 gallons cold water and 2 cups kosher (coarse) salt until salt is dissolved. Add turkey (brine should cover bird). Cover; refrigerate 8 to 12 hours. Remove turkey from brine; thoroughly rinse under cool water, gently rubbing inside and outside of turkey to release salt. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Follow directions for roast turkey to prepare turkey for roasting. In medium bowl, toss 1 quartered medium onion, 1 coarsely chopped carrot, 1 coarsely chopped stalk celery, 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves and 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Spoon into turkey cavity. Place turkey in roasting pan and add thermometer as directed in recipe. Brush all sides of turkey with remaining melted butter. Roast turkey as directed in recipe. Remove turkey from oven. Remove vegetables from cavity.

Both fresh and frozen turkeys are great. If using a frozen turkey, just remember to allow extra time to thaw it. To thaw a 12- to 15-pound whole turkey, place turkey (in its original wrap) in a baking pan in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Place turkey, breast up, on cutting board. Remove ties or skewers. While gently pulling leg away from body, cut through joint between thigh and body. Separate drumstick and thigh by cutting through connecting joint. Serve drumsticks and thighs whole or carved. To carve, remove meat from drumstick by slicing at an angle, and slice thigh by cutting even slices parallel to the bone. Carefully cut down through breast meat next to bone, removing one side of breast. Cut turkey breast into slices.

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View Full Nutrition Information

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
600
(
Calories from Fat
250),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
27g
27%
(Saturated Fat
8g,
8%
Trans Fat
1/2g
1/2%
),
Cholesterol
250mg
250%;
Sodium
210mg
210%;
Total Carbohydrate
0g
0%
(Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
  Sugars
0g
0%
),
Protein
88g
88%
;
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
6%;
Vitamin C
0%;
Calcium
6%;
Iron
25%;
Exchanges:
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 6 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
0
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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© 2014 ®/TM General Mills All Rights Reserved

Nutrition information is calculated at the time recipes are created. We do not include optional ingredients in our calculations.
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