Foolproof Thanksgiving Turkey recipe that packs all of the flavor and juiciness you expect from the perfect roasted turkey, with none of the stress! Step by step for how to cook the perfect turkey.
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.
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 325 degrees F for about 13-15 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature (inserted on middle of thigh and breast) reaches about 165 degrees.
(I remove the turkey from the oven once it reaches 160 degrees. Then, I tent it with foil, and let it rest on the counter. It will continue cooking under the foil, to reach 165 degrees F.)
***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. Alternately, you could start cooking the turkey with it tented in foil, then during the last hour or so of cooking you can take the foil off to let the turkey brown.
Reserve any drippings and juice remaining in your roasting pan to make turkey gravy.
*If you don't have a roasting pan, use a disposable foil roasting pan. Place a bed of chopped veggies —carrots, onion and celery work well— in the bottom of the pan, and set the turkey on top of them.