Did you take on the responsibility of roasting a whole Thanksgiving turkey for the first time this year? Deep breaths — we’re here to walk you through a delicious, foolproof turkey recipe that yields the most spectacular results to wow your guests. Our perfect combo of olive oil, fresh citrus, herbs, garlic and aromatic vegetables infuses the turkey inside and out. All you need is a roasting pan, rack, brush, baster, meat thermometer and a few simple ingredients to get started! Crispy skin, check. Succulent juicy meat (light and dark), check! Have your home smelling like the holidays, check!
For the skin:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup woodsy herbs (mix of rosemary, sage, thyme), finely chopped
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely grated (or minced)
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
For the cavity:
- 1 head of garlic, halved (no need to peel)
- 1 yellow onion, quartered
- 2 celery stalks, halved
- 1/2 bunch fresh parsley
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 orange, quartered
For the roasting pan:
- (1) 13-pound fresh turkey, packaging and bag of giblets removed
- 2 cups water or broth
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place the oven rack in the bottom third of your oven. Remove the turkey from the fridge at least 40 minutes before you plan on roasting it. Place the bird (packaging and bag of giblets removed) breast side up, on the roasting rack. In a measuring cup or bowl, whisk the olive oil, chopped herbs, orange juice, lemon juice, finely grated garlic cloves, salt and pepper together. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the halved head of garlic, quartered onion, celery stalks, parsley, rosemary, halved lemon and quartered orange. Brush the skin with the olive oil and herb mixture.
2. Pour the water or broth into the bottom of the roasting pan. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and lower the oven temp to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for about 3 hours (the rule of thumb is 13 minutes per pound of meat). Remove the tray from the oven every 45 minutes to baste. Be sure to do this step quickly and safely (you don’t want the heat to escape the oven, so shut the door once the tray is out of the oven). Using your handy-dandy turkey baster, collect the turkey drippings from the bottom of the pan by gently tilting the pan (use an oven mitt for this). Baste the entire turkey thoroughly and entirely before placing back in the oven. Repeat this step every 45 minutes (this is key to getting that crispy skin).
3. Once 2 1/2 hours have passed, using a meat thermometer, measure the internal temperature of the breast and thigh (be sure not to hit any bones). As long as the thermometer reads at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, your turkey is done! Tent the turkey with foil and allow it to rest before carving. When you’re ready to start carving, remove the ingredients from the cavity — this will make carving easier.
Don’t let those turkey drippings go to waste — make a delicious gravy to serve alongside your homemade citrus and herb turkey!
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