Thanksgiving Turkey

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Thanksgiving Turkey

Turkey talk: If the turkey has been refrigerated, bring it to room temperature before cooking. Keep it in its plastic wrapping until you are ready to cook it. While in the refrigerator, and or while you are bringing it to room temp, have the bird resting in a pan or large dish, so that if the plastic covering leaks for any reason, the juices will stay in the pan/dish and not make a mess. If you are using a frozen turkey, you will need to defrost it in the refrigerator and it can take 3 days. Allow approximately 5 hours of defrosting for every pound.

Handle a raw turkey with the same amount of caution as when you handle raw chicken - use a separate cutting board and utensils to avoid contaminating other foods. Wash you hands with soap before touching anything else in the kitchen. Use paper towels to clean up.



  • 1 turkey, approx. 15 lbs.*
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil and/or melted unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • Tops and bottoms of a bunch of celery
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove giblets (heart, liver and gizzard). You can use the giblets to make your gravy!

  2. Rinse the entire turkey (inside and out) well and if there any feather stubs – just pull them out. Pat dry with a clean white dish cloth or paper towel.

  3. Set turkey in large roasting pan.

  4. Pour juice of lemon inside the turkey cavity. Season the entire turkey with salt and pepper

  5. To increase the flavor add onion,, celery, carrots, lemon and a few springs of rosemary in the cavity.
 Use your hands and stuff it in there good so it stays in place.

  6. Using kitchen string – tie the lets together and tie a string around the body of the turkey to hold the wings nice and tight.

  7. Rub olive or butter (or both) all over the outside of the turkey. Pour water or chicken broth to the bottom of the pan to about 1 inch up the pan.

  8. Place pan in the oven for 45 minutes, baste then lower temperature to 350 degrees. You will want to look at it every 30 minutes for basting. If the skin starts to get too brown then lightly cover with tin foil and just remove 30 minutes before the turkey is done. You want the internal temperature to reach 160 degrees F at the breasts. The turkey will continue to cook once out of the oven. The turkey should rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. This will give you time to make your gravy.

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