Beginners Guide to a Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey 

Beginners Guide to a Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey 

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 Make your first Thanksgiving Turkey with confidence. This simple Beginners Guide Roasted Turkey will leave you with a delicious and juicy turkey with no brining or basting required!

8 Step Beginners Guide Roasted Turkey | Recipe Nomad

Is this your first time making a Thanksgiving Turkey? Are you worried and scared? Don’t be! Making a turkey is not as hard as you think it is! This recipe for turkey is the perfect Beginners Guide Roasted Turkey. No brining, no basting, no fanciness. Just a delicious and juicy Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter. All you need is a roasting pan and knife and you’re on your way to a Thanksgiving food coma. That’s it!

Taking the leap into making your first Thanksgiving Turkey back home might not be too scary. After all, you have all of your baking supplies, roasting supplies, etc… in your kitchen or you can run over to Target and grab whatever you need for a successful turkey dinner. But you do not have that luxury in China. As long as you can get your hands on a roasting pan, you’re good to go! Check out Metro, the Hongqiao Flower Market, or the Hotel Equipment Market. Or, make it easy and just get one off of Taobao. But here’s a tip before you go and buy the biggest roasting pan you’ve ever seen. Measure your oven. There is no worse feeling than cleaning, trussing and seasoning your turkey only to place the roasting pan in the oven and it doesn’t fit. Don’t let this happen! Measure!!!

A little chat about brining. In the past I always brined my turkey, however, to keep it simple, I did not brine this year. And can I tell you? I have 0 regrets about it! It was delicious and juicy and according to my husband the best turkey I’ve ever made! So don’t fall for the brining trap! A high quality turkey and correct roasting is all you need for a perfectly juicy Thanksgiving Turkey.

That’s why I bought my turkey this year from GroupMall who is currently selling a Chilean Sopraval brand Turkey for 519RMB (7.0-7.5kg) and 499RMB (6.5-7.0kg). To get this deal all you need to do is scan the QR CODE and follow the steps! Easy!

8 Step Beginners Guide Roasted Turkey | Recipe Nomad

Step 1: Thaw your Turkey

The #1 rule to thawing a turkey is do not leave it out on a your countertops until it’s thawed. There are 2 safe methods: thaw in the refrigerator or in a cold water bath. While the refrigerator method is easy- put it in the refrigerator until it’s no longer frozen, it’s a slow process. It will take 1 day per 5 pounds (2.5kg). So a 20 pound turkey will take 5 days to thaw. On the other hand, the cold water bath is much faster- 2 1/2 hours per 5 pounds (2.5kg) to thaw (20 pounds = 10 hours) You’ll just need to remember to change the water every 30-60 minutes.

8 Step Beginners Guide Roasted Turkey | Recipe Nomad

Step 2: Clean the Turkey:

Clean the turkey well. Remove extra feathers, excess fat (especially around the cavity and neck) Sometimes the turkey will have a bag inside with the liver, heart and gizzards. Check the cavity for the bag. Either discard the bag or add them to the pan for roasting. My dad loves the gizzard so my mom throws away everything except the gizzard. My Chilean turkey did not have the bag. In fact, these Chilean turkeys are very clean! They are nicely trimmed with little fat, making this yucky step a quick yucky step! Pat the turkey with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

 

Step 3: Seasoning the Turkey:

Season the inside of the turkey with lots of salt and pepper. Stuff the inside of your bird with onion, garlic and a bunch of herbs. I used a handful of thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, tarragon and marjoram. I found all of these herbs at City Shop.

Step 4: Truss the Turkey

For me, trussing is the hardest part of roasting a turkey. By no means am I professional turkey trusser (is there such a thing?) but I have figured out a simple way to tie up the turkey with only 2 pieces of twine. But before I tell you how, take a moment to laugh…

The first time I made a turkey I didn’t tie the legs together. When I took the picture and shared it on Facebook my sister laughed and told me that my turkey looked like a “wh@re”. She laughed for an hour before she finally said to me… you didn’t tie the legs together and it’s legs are spread wide open! My first turkey may have tasted delicious, but I’ll always remember it as my “wh@re turkey”.

First, you’ll need 2 long pieces of twine. With the turkey breast side up, cross the legs of the bird and tightly tie them together with twine. Wrap the twine around the drumsticks to keep the legs closed (no one wants a “wh@re” turkey!). Tie the ends in a knot and cut off any excess string.

8 Step Beginners Guide Roasted Turkey | Recipe Nomad

For the wings, press them to the side of the turkey and use the second piece of twine, to secure the wings to the body. Wrap it around two times, securing the tips of the wing under the twine.

Step 5: Roasting the Turkey

Place the turkey BREAST SIDE DOWN in the roasting pan. Brush the turkey with butter and herbs de Provence mixture. Roast at 375F (190C) for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F (175C) and continue roasting for 30 more minutes. Remove from the oven, and remove the foil. Brush with more butter. Return to the oven and continue roasting for 30 more minutes.

8 Step Beginners Guide Roasted Turkey | Recipe Nomad

Remove the turkey from the oven and flip so the breast is facing up. Brush with butter, cover with foil and return to then oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven. Remove and discard the foil, brush with more butter and return to the oven. Roast for up to 30 more minutes or until the red button pops. For more accurate cooking, insert a meat thermometer. If you have a neat thermometer, place it right above the drumstick pointing straight.

My 17 pound turkey took exactly 3 hours to roast. The thermometer hit 185 at the exact same time the red button popped! Success!

8 Step Beginners Guide Roasted Turkey | Recipe Nomad

If the top of your turkey isn’t browned enough, turn the oven to broil and brown the top. Remove the turkey from the oven when it is golden brown but be careful not to burn it!

Do not discard the juice in the bottom of the pan. You can use that for your gravy!

Step 6: Carving the Turkey

Remove from oven and let the turkey rest, covered in foil for 30 minutes before carving.

To carve the turkey there are a lot of good videos on YouTube to watch. Just remember to use a sharp knife. Watch this one by Buzzfeed Food for a quick lesson:

Step 7: Serving the Turkey

After carving the turkey, place it on a serving platter garnished with lettuce, fresh herbs, cranberries, etc…

Wipe the platter clean so there are no turkey drippings staining your pretty platter.

8 Step Beginners Guide Roasted Turkey | Recipe Nomad

A few things about the cooking time:

  1. Since you are not basting the turkey, it will cook more quickly than a regularly basted turkey. That’s because you are opening the oven ever 30 minutes when basting, causing the ovens temperature to drop.
  2. My oven is a convection oven, which means the turkey will cook faster than a conventional oven.

I hope you found this Beginners Guide Roasted Turkey to be helpful!

Yields 8-12 people

8 Step Beginners Guide to a Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey 

Make your first Thanksgiving Turkey with confidence. This simple Beginners Guide Roasted Turkey will leave you with a delicious and juicy turkey with no brining or basting required!

30 minPrep Time

3 hrCook Time

3 hr, 30 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 16-18 pound (7.0-7.5kg) Turkey
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence (or a blend of oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, etc...)
  • 1 Onion, halved
  • 2 Garlic Cloves

Instructions

  1. Read the article for 8 step instructions to making the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey!
7.6.4
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http://www.recipenomad.com/beginners-guide-roasted-turkey/

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4 Comments on Beginners Guide to a Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey 

Recipe Nomad said : administrator Report Nov 29, 2016 at 10:22 AM

I am so honored Katie!! The turkey was delicious and I'll never make it another way (maybe lol!)

Katie Carney said : Guest Report Nov 29, 2016 at 9:00 AM

I followed this recipe exactly for our turkey on Thanksgiving. The turkey was extremely moist and seasoned perfectly. This recipe is very easy to follow and your turkey will be perfect. You will be the star of your next holiday gathering. Love this recipe!

Recipe Nomad said : administrator Report Nov 09, 2016 at 7:04 PM

Thank you! And I'm so jealous you'll be eating dinner with the Koscina's. I really miss them :(

penny rutledge said : Guest Report Nov 08, 2016 at 11:45 PM

sounds tasty...we will be the koscina gang for the holidays..hope that you turkey day will be just as wonderful as your turkey sounds...p

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