To brine or not to brine? Deep fry? Turduckin? The myriad ways to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey range from subtle deviations from the standard roast bird to the more adventurous (i.e. a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck stuffed into a deboned turkey!). Chef Carmen from our Provender, however, keeps it classic with a butter and herb-seasoned turkey.
Chef Carmen’s Turkey Cooking Instructions:
- Whether you’re preparing a fresh or defrosted bird, be sure to rinse the turkey well and pat dry before seasoning and dressing.
- Preheat oven to 450 ºF. Place turkey into a roasting pan with the breast up and tie legs together.
- Season the turkey using melted butter and your choice of herbs—be sure to get the butter and seasoning under the skin but be careful not to tear it!
- Cook for approximately 20 minutes, until light browning occurs, then reduce oven temperature to 350 ºF for remaining cooking time. Cooking time is weight-based: plan for approximately 12-14 minutes per lb. of turkey.
- Baste every 15-20 minutes and rotate the pan every half hour.
- Bake until inner temperature is 165 ºF at the thickest point. For a true temperature, insert meat thermometer into the thigh and push into the densest part of the breast.
- Don’t forget to check the stuffing (if using)! It should also be 165 ºF.
- Once at temperature, remove from oven. Let turkey rest for 20 minutes before slicing. Reserve the pan drippings to make your gravy!