Welcome to another addition of low-fuss, stress-free Thanksgiving prep. Earlier this week I shared how to get a bone-in turkey breast on the table with no fuss when you’re feeding a smaller crowd. I see you’re back for more though, so you must be feeding a BIG crowd. Bring on the whole turkey my friends! I’ll show you my easy trick for taming those turkey jitters.
Simple Roast Turkey
1 whole turkey (Mine was 13 lbs this year but in years past I’ve roasted one as big as 23 lbs using this same method.)
1 Reynolds Turkey Size Oven Bag (yes, this is my “trick”)
2 Tbls flour (I never remember this and have never had a problem.)
EVOO for drizzling
salt, pepper, and rosemary to taste
Step 1: Cut turkey from wrapping and remove neck and bag of organs (I discard these but I know lots of folks who use them for gravy or just wrap them in foil with a little salt and pepper and throw them in the oven with the turkey.) I do NOT recommend rinsing your turkey and here’s why. Throw 2 Tbls flour in the turkey bag, hold the bag closed, and give it a good shake before dumping the extra flour (I never remember to do this and haven’t had a problem but the directions on the box say to do this to avoid having the bag burst…yikes.) Toss turkey into Reynolds Turkey Size Oven Bag (this is totally not a product endorsement…I just haven’t ever used a different brand. If you have, leave a comment to tell me about it!) These bags are amazing. No need to baste your turkey. The bag does it for you. So you can literally stick this big guy in the oven and forget about it for 2-5 hours depending on how big your bird is this year. I have been using them for years and you would be hard pressed to get me to roast a turkey any other way.
Step 2: Drizzle turkey with evoo. Don’t be shy, but don’t leave it sitting in a pool either. The oil helps keep Mr. Turkey
moist from drying out AND helps it brown beautifully. 🙂
Step 3: Go to town with the salt, pepper, and rosemary (or whatever spice combination floats your boat) and spread it all around with a clean hand. Then go wash your hands thoroughly. Seriously. No salmonella on Thanksgiving.
Step 4: Close up your turkey bag, cut 6 half inch slits/small holes in the top of the bag for venting purposes, and pop it in the oven. I roasted my 13+ pounder at 350 degrees for just under 3 hours before my meat thermometer reached 170 degrees. (I’ve read 165 degrees is fine but I don’t like to take any chances so 170 is my temp of choice…and your turkey won’t be dried out at this point so you’re still safe on that front too.) Most likely there is a cooking guide on your turkey’s wrapping that you can consult, or you can check the guide provided with the oven bags, or you could try your luck with one of the DOZENS of different turkey cooking charts online. Everyone has an opinion. Find one that speaks to you and go for it. 😉
When your turkey is done, allow it to stand for a while before carving to help it retain its juices…this also helps limit the number of times you will burn your fingers on hot turkey while carving. Stupid turkey. Trust me. I’ve done this year after year. Just let it rest a while.
That is one beautiful bird my friends. Happy roasting!