Weekend Recipe: Roasted Turkey

Roasted Turkey
Photo: Courtesy of Cook's Country

More Weekend Recipes

This recipe from Cook's Country makes cooking a deliciously moist turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner simple.

When testing our recipe for Roasted Turkey, we found there was no need for an elaborate trussing. We just tucked the legs into the pocket of skin at the tail end, or simply tied the ankles together with kitchen twine.

Starting the bird breast-side down and flipping it during cooking felt a bit awkward, but the results were well worth it. We found basting did nothing to moisten dry breast meat, so we didn’t waste our time. Instead, we selected a “self-basting" turkey or a kosher one.

Roasted Turkey
Serves 10 to 12, Depending on turkey size

If you are roasting a large (18- to 22-pound) bird and are reluctant to rotate it, don’t line the V-rack with foil and roast the bird breast-side up for the full time, following the temperature guidelines in this recipe.


1 (12- to-22-pound) turkey, fully thawed, brined if desired 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salt and pepper

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1. PREPARE BIRD: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 400 degrees (425 degrees if roasting 18- to 22-pound turkey). Remove neck and giblets from cavity and reserve for gravy. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Tuck legs into pocket of skin at tail end (alternatively, tie legs with kitchen twine) and tuck wings under bird.

2. BUTTER AND SEASON: Line V-rack with foil and poke several holes in foil. Set rack inside large roasting pan and spray foil with cooking spray. Brush breast and legs of turkey with half of butter and season with salt and pepper. Arrange turkey, breast-side down, in rack. Brush remaining butter over back of turkey and season with salt and pepper. Roast turkey for 1 hour.

3. FLIP TURKEY: Remove turkey from oven. (If roasting 18- to 22-pound turkey, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and do not flip.) Tip juices from cavity of turkey into pan. Using clean pot holders or kitchen towels, carefully flip turkey breast-side up. Roast until breast meat registers 160 degrees and thigh meat registers 175 degrees, 1 to 1½ hours (2 to 2½ hours for 18- to 22-pound turkey). Transfer to carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Carve and serve.

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