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Popular in Food

Simple Roast Turkey

Brining adds a saltiness to the turkey in this recipe, Add color to your serving tray by roasting halved lemons, oranges, and celery with the turkey.

4.5 by 21 people
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  • Makes: 8 servings
  • Serving Size: 3 ounces
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Roast: 2 hrs 45 mins 325°F
  • Stand: 20 mins

Simple Roast Turkey



  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Rinse the brined turkey under cold water; pat it dry, inside and out, with paper towels. In bowl, mix softened butter, 1/4 tsp. salt, the pepper, and thyme. Stir in citrus juices (not all juices will be incorporated). Rub turkey with seasoned butter, inside and out. Fill cavity with onion, celery, bay leaves, and garlic. Skewer turkey neck skin to back. Tuck drumstick ends under band of skin across tail, if available. If there is no band of skin, tie drumsticks securely to tail. Twist wing tips under back. Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into center of an inside thigh muscle, taking care not to touch bone. Pour chicken broth in roasting pan.
  2. Roast turkey 45 minutes undisturbed. Spoon pan juices over turkey. Roast 1 hour more spooning juices over turkey every 20 minutes. Cut string; spoon juices over turkey. Roast 1 to 1-1/2 hours more, spooning over juices every 20 minutes or until thickest part of thigh reaches an internal temperature of 165 F and thigh juices run clear. Remove from oven; transfer turkey to serving platter. Tent loosely with aluminum foil, shiny side down. Let rest 20 to 30 minutes. Remove vegetables from inside cavity; discard.
  3. While turkey rests, pour drippings from roasting pan into heatproof glass measuring cup or fat separator; skim fat. Reserve separated fat for Thanksgiving Gravy. Return drippings to pan; heat through, scraping up browned bits. Measure for use in Thanksgiving Gravy. Makes 8 servings, (plus leftovers).

From the Test Kitchen

*To brine turkey:

For 10- to 12-pound turkey, thoroughly dissolve 1-1/2 cups kosher salt in 1-1/2 gallons water. (Use this formula to make enough brine to fully submerge turkey, increasing salt/water combination in proportion to size of bird.) Refrigerate the brining turkey, breast side down, and soak for 24-36 hours. Use a weighted dinner plate to needed to keep turkey submerged. Alternatively, turn bird a few times during brining.

Scott prefers a simply presented roast turkey. To add color to your serving platter, brush halved oranges and lemons, celery, and unpeeled garlic cloves with olive oil and roast alongside the bird in a separate pan during the last half hour of cooking. Place roasted fruits and vegetables on serving platter.

Nutrition Facts (Simple Roast Turkey)

    Per serving:
  • 257 kcal cal.,
  • 12 g fat
  • (5 g sat. fat,
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 4 g monounsatured fat),
  • 80 mg chol.,
  • 77 mg sodium,
  • 13 g carb.,
  • 4 g fiber,
  • 6 g sugar,
  • 25 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet



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