There’s no brining or basting the turkey, no cooking it upside down, or anything weird. You don’t even need an expensive roasting pan. I’m convinced that this recipe is not only the simplest way to cook a turkey, it also gives you a gorgeous, super juicy, perfectly cooked turkey.
The real KEY to baking a perfect Turkey is not to overcook it–that’s what dries out the meat, and you want to carve into a juicy, moist turkey on Thanksgiving or Christmas! So, just plan ahead to get the timing right.
- 1 5.5kg - 9kg free range turkey
- 1 onion , peeled and quartered
- 1 lemon , quartered
- 1 apple , quartered
- 20g fresh rosemary
- 20g fresh thyme
- 20g fresh sage
For the herb butter:
- 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cloves garlic , minced
- fresh chopped herbs
What to do:
- If the turkey is frozen: Thaw in the fridge, 24 hours for every 2.25kg of Turkey. I like to give myself 1 extra day, just to be safe.
- Remove the thawed turkey from the fridge 1 hour before roasting, to let it come to room temperature.
- Adjust your oven rack so the turkey will sit in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C.
- Make the herb butter by combining room temperature butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, one tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary, one tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, and half a tablespoon of fresh chopped sage. (You’ll use the remaining fresh herbs for stuffing inside the cavity of the turkey)
- Remove turkey from packaging and remove the neck and giblets from the inside the cavities of the bird. (Reserve them for gravy, if you want, or discard them). Pat the turkey very dry with paper towels.
- Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper. Stuff it with the quartered lemon, onion and apple and leftover herbs.
- Use your fingers to loosen and lift the skin above the breasts (on the top of the turkey) and smooth a few tablespoons of the herb butter underneath.
- Tuck the wings of the turkey underneath the turkey and set the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan*.
- Microwave the remaining herb butter mixture for 30 seconds (it doesn’t need to be completely melted--just really softened). Use a basting brush to brush the remaining herb butter all over the outside of the turkey, legs and wings.
- Roast at 165 degrees C for about 13-15 minutes per 500g, or until internal temperature (inserted on middle of thigh and breast) reaches about 75 degrees C.
- (I remove the turkey from the oven once it reaches 70 degrees. Then, I tent it with foil, and let it rest on the counter. It will continue cooking under the foil, to reach 75 degrees C.)
- Check the turkey about halfway through cooking, and once the skin gets golden brown, cover the top of the turkey with tinfoil, to protect the breast meat from overcooking.
- Allow turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.
- Reserve any drippings and juice remaining in your roasting pan to make turkey gravy.