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Juicy Roast Turkey Recipe

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Category: Chicken, Healthy Recipes, Main Dish, Dinner Party

 Ingredients List

  • 12 lb turkey (Anything from 11-15 lbs will work, but bake time will vary)
  • Salt & Pepper for the inside and outside of the bird
  • ~~~ For the Flavored Butter ~~~
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (not extra virgin), plus more to drizzle top
  • 2 small or 1 large lemon
  • 3 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
  • ½ Tbsp salt (I used sea salt)
  • ½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • ~~~ For the Stuffing ~~~
  • 1 large onion, quartered (no peeling)
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved (no peeling)
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • ~~~ What you'll need ~~~
  • Kitchen String
  • Heavy duty foil
  • A heavy roasting pan that accommodates your bird, but isn't over-sized
  • A temperature probe (to ensure a fully-cooked turkey)

 Directions

Seasoning, Stuffing and Tying up a Turkey:

Season inside of turkey cavity generously with salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, combine: 2 sticks softened butter, 2 Tbsp olive oil, zest and juice of 2 lemons, 3 pressed garlic cloves, ¼ cup chopped parsley, ½ Tbsp salt, ½ tsp pepper. Stir until well combined (the lemon juice doesn't easily stir into butter but keep mixing and it will happen). Take a whiff of it; you'll fall in love with how fresh it smells!

Separate the skin from the turkey breast by pushing your fingers under the skin. Do this from the front and the back of the turkey; being careful not to tear the skin.

Stuff â…” of the butter mixture under skin then spread the butter around by massaging over the top of the skin. This butter keeps the turkey breast tender, juicy and provides rich flavor.

Rub remaining butter over the outside of the turkey (breast, legs, wings). Drizzle all over the top of the turkey with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper; I just love a crisp, salty skin.

Stuff turkey with quartered onion, 4 halved garlic cloves, ½ bunch parsley and quartered lemon. Tie turkey base and legs together; crossing the legs to better close up the turkey cavity, plus it looks extra fancy on the table.

How to Roast a Turkey: (Pre-heat the oven to 430ËšF on the bake mode. Place oven rack in the lower part of your oven (mine was on the second level from the very bottom).

Here is a fantastic tip I picked up from Alton brown to protect the turkey breast and keep it juicy: Fold a large square sheet of foil into a triangle. Rub one side of your triangle with olive oil and shape the foil (oil-side-down) over the turkey breast, then remove foil; it will shield your turkey breast and keep it from getting dry. You'll apply this shield later in the roasting process.

Place a meat thermometer into the bird; beneath the drum stick; deep into the dark meat. Start roasting at 430ËšF for 20 min.

Remove from oven; quickly baste with butter from the bottom of the dish. You can use a baster or tilt one side of the pan and collect drippings with a large spoon. Now apply prepared foil triangle to turkey breast area.

Reduce oven to 350ËšF and bake for another 2 hours 30 min for a 12 lb bird. (Once you have reduced the oven to 350ËšF, you will bake about 13 min for every pound of turkey). The turkey thigh should register at 180ËšF on the temperature probe and the breast at 161ËšF to make sure it's fully cooked through; then remove from the oven.

Transfer turkey to your serving platter and cover loosely but fully with foil. Let turkey rest for at least 1 hour. It will become more tender and easier to carve, the longer it sits. Keep the drippings from roasting pan for gravy. Now you can decorate around your turkey and make it festive. I used kale for my greens, then added small apples, sliced oranges and quartered lemons.

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