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Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe:

Cooking a turkey is a traditional and delicious way to celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Here's a step-by-step process for cooking a whole turkey:


  • 1 whole turkey (12-15 pounds)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened

  • Salt and pepper

  • Stuffing (if desired)

  • Herbs and aromatics (rosemary, thyme, garlic, onions)

  • Cooking oil (olive or vegetable oil) / butter

  • Turkey baster


  • Roasting pan with a rack

  • Meat thermometer

  • Aluminum foil

  • Kitchen twine

  • Basting brush

Step 1: Thaw the Turkey

  • Ensure the turkey is fully thawed before cooking. This can take several days in the refrigerator, so plan accordingly. You can also use the cold water thawing method in a sealed plastic bag, changing the water every 30 minutes.

Step 2: Preheat the Oven

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).

Step 3: Prepare the Turkey

  • Remove the turkey from its packaging and discard any giblets and neck from the cavity or use later for the sauce . Rinse the turkey inside and out, then pat it dry with paper towels.

Step 4: Season the Turkey

  • Season the inside of the turkey with salt and pepper. You can also add aromatic ingredients like garlic, onions, rosemary, and thyme to the cavity for added flavor.

Step 5: Truss the Turkey

  • Truss the turkey by tying the legs together with kitchen twine to help it cook evenly and maintain its shape.

Step 6: Apply Butter

  • Rub the softened butter all over the turkey, making sure to coat the skin evenly. This will help the turkey brown and keep it moist during cooking. Season the outside with salt and pepper.

Step 7: Stuff the Turkey (Optional)

  • If you choose to stuff the turkey, do so just before roasting. Be sure the stuffing reaches a safe internal temperature (165°F/74°C).

Step 8: Place in the Roasting Pan

  • Place the turkey on a rack inside a roasting pan. This allows air to circulate around the bird and prevents it from sitting in its own juices.

Step 9: Roast the Turkey

  • Put the turkey in the preheated oven and roast based on the turkey's weight. As a general rule, cook the turkey for about 13-15 minutes per pound. Use a meat thermometer to check the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

Step 10: Baste the Turkey

  • Every 30 minutes, use a turkey baster to collect the juices from the bottom of the pan and drizzle them over the turkey. This adds flavor and moisture to the meat.

Step 11: Tent with Foil

  • If the turkey starts to brown too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. Remove the foil during the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow the skin to crisp.

Step 12: Rest the Turkey

  • Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the oven, tent it with foil, and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. This allows the juices to be redistributed, resulting in a juicier turkey.

Step 13: Carve and Serve

  • Carve the turkey into slices or pieces, and serve with your favorite sides and gravy.

Enjoy your delicious roasted turkey!


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