This moist, classic turkey recipe is a crowd-pleasing dish that will be remembered for years to come.
Thanksgiving Turkey Tips
When you’re checking on your turkey, be sure to check the colour of the juices inside the cavity. If the juices are red or pink, it needs to cook longer.
Remember, it’s always best to test with a cooking thermometer. Once your Thanksgiving turkey is done, remove the turkey from the oven and place it on a cutting board to rest. Cover loosely to keep the heat in and allow carry-over cooking for 20 minutes.
Remove the fresh turkey from the refrigerator one or two hours before you are ready to cook it so it approaches room temperature. Thoroughly rinse and pat dry.
Resist the temptation to stuff the bird, as this requires longer cooking, which can dry the bird. Season the cavity of the turkey with salt, pepper and any fresh herb stalks you would like.
Mix together one pound of softened butter with 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme. Where the thigh meets the breast, separate the skin from the meat and slide up as far as you can. Rub herb butter over the meat, under the skin, using at least 1/2 cup of the butter mixture. This will help keep the turkey moist.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Rub the skin with the herb butter and place the turkey in a roasting pan in the oven. Immediately reduce the heat to 375 degrees.
At 20-minute intervals, rub the turkey with any additional herb butter. Reduce oven to 325 degrees after 90 minutes. Once there is enough melted butter in the bottom of the pan, baste the turkey with these juices every 20 minutes, using a good pastry brush.
If the skin begins to darken too quickly, use parchment paper rubbed with oil to cover the turkey. The oiled paper allows moisture to escape, allowing you to roast rather than steam-cook.
Continue basting and cooking the turkey until it reaches the desired temperature.