Updated: Feb 15, 2022
If you have never made a turkey before, following this recipe will ease your mind! This is a simple, basic recipe for a classic Thanksgiving turkey. Impress your family with this delicious meal! Tastes great with Perfect Mashed Potatoes, Turkey Gravy, and Green Bean Casserole #SoNomNom4u #ClassicTurkey #HowToBakeATurkey
1 Turkey (They usually run between 12 and 20 pounds)
1 (2 oz) package of fresh Rosemary sprigs
1 (2 oz) package of fresh thyme
1 (2 oz) package of fresh sage
1 stick of butter, melted
Thaw turkey 24 hours for every 5 pounds. Make sure you thaw it for plenty of days otherwise the cook times will be increased and it may lead to unevenly cooked turkey!
Once turkey is thawed, remove it from the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour before cooking it.
Preheat oven to 325°F
Place turkey in a clean sink and rinse it off completely inside and out. Reach into the inside of the turkey and remove the neck and bag of giblets. Some people save the giblets for their stuffing or gravy. I do not. I discard them. It is a matter of preference.
Remove the turkey from the sink and bleach the sink completely to avoid risk of salmonella. Keep the bleach away from the food, though.
Place turkey in a large roasting pan.
Pat all the moisture off the turkey by dabbing it all over with paper towels. This will let the butter and seasonings stick.
Melt the stick of butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Brush the entire outside of the turkey with butter and season it with salt and pepper. If you made stuffing and wish to stuff your turkey, do it now by placing stuffing into the cavity of the turkey. Save this butter for future bastings. You may need to keep it on low heat or remelt it later.
Gently tuck the wings under the turkey a bit to keep them in place. You can also use kitchen twine to tie them.
Place the oven rack in a lower position so the turkey will not be too close to the oven top and it should lie as near the center of the oven as possible.
Cover the turkey in the roasting dish with foil. Make sure the foil is higher than the turkey so it is more like a tent than a blanket. Bake turkey for about 13 minutes per pound. When the turkey reaches 125°F, remove the foil. Baste it with more melted butter and continue baking the turkey. When the internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast, remove the turkey from the oven. The skin should be golden and crispy. Baste with melted butter. It is now ready to prep for serving.
Save the juices and make a delicious Turkey Gravy!
Let turkey stand for about 15 minutes. Then, carve and serve with Perfect Mashed Potatoes, Turkey Gravy, and Green Bean Casserole. Happy Feasting!
To carve: Cut each drumstick off, then the wings. Now, slice the breast with a sharp knife or an electric carver. Start from the side of the breast, lengthwise and continue towrd the center. Repeat from the other side. Try to keep the wishbone in tact and happy wishing!