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Golden roast turkey recipe

Golden roast turkey recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Turkey
  • Roast turkey

A friend of mine (who happens to be a great cook) told me to try using butter-soaked muslin cloth over the turkey breast while it cooks. It worked a treat - came out a beautiful colour and very moist indeed.


Merseyside, England, UK

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 1 5kg (12 pound) free-range turkey
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh thyme and/or fennel stalks
  • 200g butter
  • 450ml pure chicken stock
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A piece of muslin cloth, folded

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:4hr ›Ready in:4hr10min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / Gas mark 4. Set the turkey in a roasting tray, making sure you have removed any giblets. Place half a lemon and some chopped fresh herbs inside the cavity. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Place the muslin cloth in the melted butter and leave to soak for a few minutes to absorb the butter. Place on top of the turkey and arrange in place so it covers all of the breast and legs.
  3. Pour any remaining melted butter and 450 ml of chicken stock into the roasting tray.
  4. Cook for 4 hours (or 20 minutes per pound), basting the turkey all over every 30 minutes or so. Test it by piercing the legs and/or the thickest part of the breast with a skewer. If the juices run clear, it's time to rest the turkey. Transfer to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
  5. To make the gravy; pour the juices from the roasting tray through a sieve; allow to settle, then skim off any fat from the top. Pour the skimmed gravy back in a samll pan and keep warm until you are ready to serve.

Turkey tips

For fail-safe tips and turkey cooking times see our guide to cooking turkey. Also don't forget our turkey gravy recipes.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)


It&rsquos safe to assume you need 1 pound of turkey per guest. A 10-pound turkey is ideal for a smaller feast. I usually choose a turkey between 12 to 14 pounds in size. It cooks in a reasonable amount of time while achieving juicy meat and a beautifully browned skin. Any larger, then the bird could dry out, and you may also need to cover the breast if it darkens too much. Honestly, I would consider roasting two smaller birds instead of one mega one.

For convenience, a pre-brined, self-basting (basted) bird is usually injected with a solution of salt, sweetener, seasonings, and sometimes phosphates for water retention. These are all meant to add flavor, retain moisture, and so you can skip the brining process at home. Check the label for those ingredients.

Alternatively, you can buy an unbrined turkey, typically labeled as natural or organic. They may have some water retention (around 6%) but no added salt. They require a little more work, but I prefer this option for more control over the flavor. I like to dry brine (salt) the turkey a day before roasting, but you can also wet brine if you prefer.


Herb-Roasted Turkey

Thanksgiving isn't complete without a roasted turkey on the table. And don't forget the gravy!

12- to 14-lb turkey, thawed if frozen

large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

low-sodium chicken broth, if needed

Fresh herbs and clementines, for serving

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Working on baking sheet, remove giblets and neck of turkey from cavities. Reserve neck and discard giblets. Using paper towels, pat turkey dry. Stuff half of onions and 6 sprigs sage into main cavity
  2. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Tuck wing tips underneath body. Rub turkey with oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt.
  3. Place turkey neck, carrots, celery, bay leaves and remaining onions and sage in large roasting pan. Place roasting rack in pan and put turkey on top.
  4. Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, 2 1&frasl2 to 3 hours. (Cover bird loosely with foil if it browns too quickly and add broth to pan if vegetables begin to scorch.)
  5. Carefully tilt turkey to empty juices from cavity into pan. Transfer turkey to carving board. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for at least 25 minutes. Reserve pan and its contents for gravy. Carve turkey and garnish as desired.

Nutritional information (per serving): Each 5-ounce serving about 255 cal, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 40 g protein, 185 mg sodium, 0 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber


Recipe Summary

  • 7 quarts water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), rinsed and patted dry (giblets and neck removed and reserved for another use)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, 1 stick melted, the other room temperature
  • Chestnut Stuffing
  • Easy White-Wine Gravy

Brine turkey: Bring 1 quart water, sugar, 3/4 cup salt, bay leaves, and peppercorns to a simmer in a large stockpot, stirring. Remove from heat let cool 5 minutes. Line a 5-gallon container with a large brining bag. Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts water, onions, garlic, thyme, and all but 1 1/2 cups of the wine. Tie bag if turkey is not submerged in brine, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate 24 hours, turning turkey once. Remove turkey from brine pat dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Stir melted butter and remaining 1 1/2 cups wine in a bowl. Fold a very large piece of cheesecloth into quarters (large enough to cover breast). Immerse cloth in butter mixture let soak.

Place turkey, breast side up, on a cutting board. Tuck wing tips under. Blend 4 tablespoons room-temperature butter with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon ground pepper. Loosen turkey's skin at body-cavity end spread mixture under skin.

Rub outside of turkey with remaining 4 tablespoons room-temperature butter season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside body and neck cavities. Loosely fill cavities with stuffing. Fold neck skin under secure with toothpicks. Transfer turkey to a rack set in a roasting pan. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.

Remove cheesecloth from butter mixture, gently squeezing out excess liquid into bowl. Reserve butter mixture for brushing. Lay cheesecloth over turkey breast. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Roast 30 minutes. Brush cheesecloth and exposed turkey with butter mixture. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Roast 1 1/2 hours more, brushing every 30 minutes tent loosely with foil if turkey is browning too quickly.

Discard cheesecloth rotate pan. Baste turkey with pan juices. Roast until skin is golden brown and turkey is cooked through, rotating pan halfway through, 1 to 2 hours more. (Although the USDA recommends cooking turkey until it registers 180 degrees, we suggest cooking it only to 165, which will keep it moist the temperature will continue to rise after the meat is taken out of the oven.) Transfer to a platter, reserving juices in pan. Let turkey stand at least 30 minutes before carving. Garnish as desired, and serve with gravy.


Getting the Turkey Ready for the Oven

Once your turkey is all defrosted, it is ready to prep and go in the oven to roast. What do I mean by ‘prep the turkey’? This simply means taking a few small steps to ensure a crispy, golden roasted turkey. Here’s what to do:

  • remove the giblets and neck from the cavity
  • blot the entire exterior of the turkey with paper towels to dry it completely
  • brush the entire turkey with softened or melted butter and sprinkle generously with salt (the exterior and interior)
  • tie the legs together with kitchen twine (unflavored dental floss works in a pinch)
  • tuck the wings back behind the bottom of the turkey (so it sort of looks like the turkey is sunbathing)


67 thoughts on &ldquoThe Perfect Roasted Turkey&rdquo

Has anyone done a beer can ( Fosters ? ) version of a turkey on the egg ? If so , any comments/suggestions?

The “official” video says 15 minutes a pound at 350. The “official” text version says 10 minutes a pound at 325. Conclusion: there are variables to consider and your results will almost certainly vary from what others have experienced.

I’ve been grilling turkeys for 40 years, first on a Weber kettle, then on a New Braunfels cast iron grill that used whole logs, and for the last 8 years or so on my XL BGE. I’ve wet- brined and dry-brined I prefer the dry method. I stuff the cavity with citrus, apples, and onion. The liquid in the drip pan varies from year to year, depending on what’s handy.

I vary the rub, also. This year I’m using the excellent applewood spice rub from B’s Rub’s in Othello, Washington, a small family-owned company (operated by husband-and-wife school teachers), which has become my new favorite for pork baby back ribs, after using Dizzy Pig’s Dizzy’s Dust for years.

Also, I use more wood (apple and hickory) than either recipe suggests because we all love the smoky succulence of these grilled birds. Lately, I’ve followed Harry Soo’s advice about putting the wood chunks in the center/bottom of the lump charcoal pile and the smoke has never been better, velvety smooth and delectable.

I tried using the pan drippings in gravy once and didn’t like the way it turned out (bitter and too smoky), so we do our stuffing and gravy on the stove without smoke and it provides perfect counterpart to the smoked meat.

Check the bird from time to time. I try not to exceed 350 and typically use an aluminum heat shield to protect the skin a bit. I grill breast-down so that the juices run into the white meat. After it reaches temp, I take it off the grill and tent it, letting it rest for a few minutes before carving.


Heat oven to 325 degrees. Fill the turkey cavity with thyme sprigs and onion.

Turn wing tips under truss legs with kitchen string. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan.

Mix butter, pepper, salt and vinegar in a saucepan. Rub some of the mixture over the turkey.

Roast turkey 3 hours, loosely covering turkey with foil if it is browning too quickly.

Stir cider and honey into remaining butter mixture heat over medium heat, stirring, until smooth. Baste turkey with mixture.

Roast turkey until an oven-safe or instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 180 degrees, about 1 1/4 hours, basting occasionally.


Video recipes


How To Make A Crispy, Golden Roast Turkey
Crispy, Golden Roast Turkey Recipe. This fool-proof method for roasting a turkey is guaranteed to result in a holiday bird that is moist, flavourful, and covered in a gorgeous brown skin. If you have guests that don't like turkey, this will change their minds. Sample our Crispy, Golden Roast Turkey recipe.
Serves: 12
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Oven Temperature: 200 390° c - ° f 200

Step 1: You will need
1 fresh turkey, 5.5 kilos, washed and dried
1 ½ onions, chopped into quarters
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 garlic bulbs, cut in halves
1 lemon, cut into quarters
A few celery tops
some rosemary
some thyme
40 ml olive oil
2 Tbsp rock salt
salt and pepper
1 baking tray with rack
some kitchen twine
1 cutting board
1 knife
1 thermometer
1 bowl

Step 2: Preheat the oven
Set the temperature of the oven to 200°C (400ºF/ gas mark 6).

Step 3: Prepare the vegetables
Add to a bowl the onions, garlic, carrots, lemon, rosemary, rock salt, thyme, celery tops, and a little olive oil. Mix them all together by hand and set aside.
VIDEOJUG TIP
Handle raw turkey with the same care that you would raw chicken. Wash the inside and out with water and lemon juice and dry with paper towels. Use a separate cutting board and utensils.

Step 4: Trim the turkey
Place the knife deep inside the neck cavity and cut off the neck, trying to reserve as much of the skin as possible. Next, find the elbow joint of one of the wings, insert the knife, cut and remove. Repeat with the other wing.

Step 5: Fill the bird
Place the vegetables into the main cavity of the turkey, stuffing it as much as possible.
If there is enough skin remaining around the neck cavity to close it, stuff that area as well.

Step 6: Tie the bird
Start with a 1 metre piece of string.
Place it around the turkey's neck and wings. Cross the legs together .Wrap one side of the string around the legs and then wrap the other side. Pull them together and tie a knot.

Step 7: Prepare for oven
Place the bird on the rack. Pour some olive oil over its skin and rub it in well, covering the entire surface. Season well with salt and pepper. Turn the bird onto its side and season again. Repeat until the whole bird is coated and leave it on the rack, breast-side down.

Step 8: Roast
Allow for 10-15 minutes for each 450g of weight. After 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 180°C and cook for about 1.5 to 2 hours more.

Step 9: Check the turkey
At this time, test your turkey with a meat thermometer. Place it into the thigh first and then into the breast. The temperature should exceed 85°C for the thigh and at least 76°C in the breast. Once these temperatures are reached, remove the turkey and turn it breast-side up so it will brown. Increase the oven to 220°C and let it cook for 10 minutes more. At this time, remove the turkey from the oven, cut the string, and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
Don't forget to save the drippings for the gravy from the oven tray!


Recipes That Go Well With Turkey

I like to serve this turkey for Thanksgiving alongside traditional Thanksgiving dishes such as dinner rolls, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, and chocolate pecan pie.

If you’ve tried this lemon herb turkey breast recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. I love to hear from people who’ve made my recipes!

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