Serves: 1 turkey (main)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3.5 to 4 hours
Thawing time: approximately 24 hours
If you have been searching for the easiest way to make the juiciest, moistest, most delicious turkey for your Thanksgiving feast, look no further than this recipe.
We’ve purposefully kept this recipe as simple as can be so, feel free to spice things up by brining, stuffing and using a seasoning of your choice.
1. Take the turkey out of the refrigerator, approximately 30 minutes prior to roasting. Remove any packaging and the bag of giblets.
2. Preheat your oven to 230C (450F).
3. While your oven is preheating, place the turkey breast-side up on a roasting rack placed inside a roasting pan. We do this to make sure skin of the turkey has enough time to dry out, resulting in a crispy browned skin.
4. Season your turkey with a simple rub consisting of salt and pepper.
5. Once you are ready to start roasting, add your liquid to the roasting pan and place the turkey in the oven.
6. As soon as your turkey is in the oven, lower the heat down to 176C (350F). If you’re worried about the breast meat getting too browned, simply keep your eye on it towards the end of the cook and cover it with aluminum foil if the colour gets too dark.
7. The general rule for turkey roasting is that the turkey should be roasted for 13 minutes per pound, but this is more of a guideline. You can use a turkey roasting calculator as well as the instructions on the packaging to confirm how long your turkey should be roasted for.
8. Every 45 minutes remove the turkey from the oven and baste it. We do this by using the turkey baster to scoop up the liquid in the pan and then drizzling these liquids over the bird.
9. Check the temperature of the turkey in its breast, outer thigh and inner thigh. The temperature needs to measure at least 70C in all three areas.
10. Once the desired minimum temperature has been achieved in all three areas of the bird, remove it from the oven.
11. Lift the rack with the turkey on it and place it on a welled cutting board to catch any juices. Cover the turkey loosely with aluminum foil to allow the juices to reabsorb while the meat firms up.
12. Allow the turkey to rest like this for 30 minutes.
13. While its resting, you can use all of those delicious juices to make a gravy.
14. When your turkey has rested, its time to carve it. First remove the wings, before moving on to the thighs and finally the breast meat.
Chefs tip: Towards the end of your cook, when you only have 45 minutes left, baste the turkey using melted butter to crisp up its skin even more if desired.
While this recipe is foolproof, you can eliminate the stress that comes with hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at your home entirely by picking our ready to cook Thanksgiving turkey.
From our Les Gastronomes family to yours—have the happiest of Thanksgiving’s.