EASIEST Butter Roasted Turkey
When it comes to the Thanksgiving turkey there's a lot of pressure to not f%&!@ it up. But in reality roasting a turkey in the oven can be a super simple process if you give yourself enough time to prep the bird, let it marinate, and cook low and slow.
There are many traditions claiming to be the "right" way to cook your turkey, some like to keep it basic whereas others love to wrap it entirely in bacon instead of just buying a ham. Personally, I love to cover it in butter and garlic to create one juicy bird.
Lets Talk BASICS
Tools & Equipment
All you really need for roasting a turkey are 3ish tools:
Roasting Pan: Reusable or Disposable will both work! If you are using disposable, set your bird on top of foil balls to keep it from touch the pan directly. Typically a reusable roasting pan has a rack included.
Meat Thermometer: This is extremely helpful in understanding how cooked your bird is so your aren't putting an undercooked or dry turkey on the table.
Meat Twine: this helps tie the legs together tightly.
Baster (optional): I only baste a few times but you could use a deep level spoon as well.
Buying & Prepping Your Turkey
When it comes to buying your turkey, you are going to want to take into account how many folks you're feeding:
Typically buy 1-1.25 pounds per person. (12 people = 15 pounds)
Prepping and cleaning your turkey can be intimidating, but the most important part is to make sure that you give your turkey enough time to thaw! You are going to want the bird at room temperature before putting in the oven.
Remove the insides of the bird. Optional to save the gizzard for gravy.
Trim excess skin around body canal
Pat completely dry - excess liquids prevent your marinade from properly sticking and can affect the roast. Unlike popular opinion, washing your turkey with water only allows further bacteria spread.
Roasting Your Turkey
There are numerous ways that you can cook your turkey: roasting, deep frying, brining, etc. I like to keep it simple and cover it in an herby garlicky mixture, and roast low and slow for about 3-3.5 hours.
Compound Butter: This is literally just butter (I'm a Kerrygold snob) + neutral oil + minced garlic cloves + freshly chopped herbs + additional spices and seasonings
Broth: I typically pour in a 32oz container of broth (chicken or vegetable) but make sure that it isn't touching your bird.
GOOD SALT: don't cop out on the good flaky salt. TRUST ME.
Veggies/Lemons/Herbs: These are for the inside of the turkey when you are roasting it, you'll discard these after roasting.
Quick Video Tutorial
Let's Get Started!
Whole Turkey (13-15 lbs)
32 oz Chicken or Veggie Broth
8 oz butter
2 heads of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 sprigs chopped rosemary
1/4 cup grape seed oil
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp knorr chicken bouillon
2 tbsp flaky salt
1 tsp ground pepper
Optional Garnish Options:
Cutie oranges with leaves
Eucalyptus or Rosemary
If your turkey is frozen, remove from the freeze to the fridge at least 48hrs before. Move to the sink in the last 24 hrs. You want the turkey to be room temperature before putting into the oven.
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.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a separate bowl, add room temp butter, oil, chopped garlic, chopped herbs, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, chicken bouillon, flaky salt, and cracked pepper. Mix until evenly combined.
Take your compound butter and coat your turkey in the mixture. Make sure to put this mixture in between the skin and body to really soak in the buttery juices.
OPTIONAL: Prep bird the night before and let sit overnight in a turkey bag. Just remove from fridge 1 hour before cooking.
Add turkey broth to the roast pan, this should hit just under your rack to not touch the turkey.
Tent your turkey with foil and add to the oven for 2.5 hours, basting each hour.
Remove foil at 2 hours if your bird is smaller.
After the foil is removed, baste the turkey and allow the skin to roast for another 45 minutes to an hour to achieve a nice golden skin.
Push your meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh to get a temp - it should be at ~165 degrees to be fully cooked.
Remove the turkey from the oven and tent with foil again, and let it to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Once your turkey has rested, move the bird to a serving plate to be carved. Enjoy!