Cooking a whole turkey can be a little intimidating if you’ve never done it before. I remember my first time, I was a little nervous. Fear not though! You got this! Just follow my simple recipe and your family will be praising your amazing chef abilities in about 4-5 hours! If you are looking for more Thanksgiving recipes check out my post Last minute Thanksgiving Dinner. Get my fantastic Giblet Gravy Recipe too (coming soon.)
Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
Cook/prepare/care for food properly! Please see disclaimer.
- 1 whole turkey
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- salt and pepper
- 2-4 cups turkey or chicken stock
- *optional 8 cups of prepared stuffing – *Cooking time may vary if added. (Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe) (Sausage Stuffing Recipe)
- Tin foil
- Roasting pan
It will take 3-4 days to thaw out a frozen turkey so make sure you do that a few days before Thanksgiving! I usually start cooking my turkey at around 8am so we can eat around noon.
Okay ready to cook?
- First, preheat oven to 325° F, and make sure that the rack in the oven is in the lowest position.
- Remove the innards and set them aside. Use this Giblet Gravy Recipe after you get the turkey in the oven.
- Pat the turkey with a paper towel to dry it off a little.
- Rub the butter into the skin of the turkey, and then rub in a little bit of salt and pepper.
- Place the turkey in a roasting pan.
- Pour in about 2 cups of the turkey/chicken broth into the pan.
- Cover the pan with tin foil, and place the pan in the oven.
- Using the juice in the pan baste the turkey every 20-30 minutes.
- If the broth evaporates in the bottom of the pan, add a cup of broth. Keep a close eye on it, it will help keep the turkey moist inside!
Most turkeys come with a pop up timer. Make sure that you have a meat thermometer or a pop up thermometer if one did not come with your turkey. Cook to proper temperatures. Depending on the size of your turkey the amount of time really could vary, but a 20 lb turkey will take around 4 hours to cook.
I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving! I know I will. My in-laws make the best food! I cannot wait for the gravy and Yorkshire Pudding! If you have not had it, you are missing out. Our family calls them bird’s nest. They kind of look like a bird’s nest. I had heard of these before but I had no idea that this thing they call pudding was not actually pudding at all. Being an American I was not in the know of the wonderful English dish! If you have not had it, let me tell you about it real quick before you go. Eggs flour and milk, are the basic ingredients.
It is made with just a basic batter but it is sooooo good with the gravy my grandmother in-law makes. These are the first things to disappear at Thanksgiving. I remember one year I only got to eat one because I was too busy feeding my little boys and I was so sad! Lol, it is probably one of my most favorites things to eat, and the thing besides seeing family my most favorite things about Thanksgiving! Are you cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year? I would love to hear about how your dinner party goes. What is your favorite thanksgiving dish?
I hope you all have a fantastic holiday! Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!
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