Foolproof Turkey

13 Oct

(Because no one wants to rendered foolish by a fowl!)

As I talked about in an older post, I am now in charge of the bulk of Thanksgiving dinner in our family. I am completely okay with this: it’s fun for me and usually turns out really well. I am bound and determined to ensure that I don’t dry out the turkey breast as no one wants to eat sawdust. On the other hand, I don’t want to undercook the bird and possibly give people food poisoning. (I know, I know. I’m too kind.)

So what follows below is how I made the Main Event this year. It came out tasty, moist and with lots of flavour and I threw it together in about 20 minutes. My rule for turkey is 20 minutes per pound, assuming the bird is unstuffed.

Serves 5.

10lb fresh turkey
5 celery stalks, roughly chopped
5 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 lemon, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, whole
1/4 parsley stalks
3tb butter at room temp
1 tb each salt & pepper
1 ts cumin
1 ts paprika


1. Preheat the oven to 425.
2. Arrange the celery, carrots, onions, lemon and 2 cloves of garlic in the bottom of a roasting pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper.
3. Wash and dry the turkey, removing the neck & giblets.*
4.  Place the turkey on top of the veggies in the roasting pan.  Smear with the butter and season with salt, pepper, cumin & paprika.
5. Stuff the turkey with the other half of the lemon, parsley stalks & garlic cloves. Wrap the ends of the wings in tin foil as they may burn.
6. Place in the oven, uncovered. After 15 minutes, lower the temp to 325. Baste every 30 minutes until the bird is done, roughly 3.5 hours, or when the internal temperature reaches 175-180 degrees.
7. Remove from the oven and let sit for 25-30 minutes.

*7a . If you’re making gravy, drain the juices from the bottom of the pan into a sauce pan. Heat and add a little bit of flour at a time til you reach the desired consistency. You can also add the giblets to the gravy if you wish.


2 Responses to “Foolproof Turkey”

  1. Chrissy October 13, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    Dear Food Nurd,

    Please make me a turkey. I will provide the milkfat-laden mashed potatoes, a bottle of wine, and the pure delight that is my company. Possibly also a pie, but it would be store bought.

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