Thanksgiving, that magical time of year when your family gathers and the only thing you do is give thanks and eat good food. I love it. My favorite holiday hands down. No fuss over presents. No having to pretend to be some mythical creature that leaves candy or surprises for the kids. Just family and food.
After having my first child, I decided I wanted to start hosting Thanksgiving at our house. Whether it was just going to be us or our families would come over, I wanted to make this our holiday. What? I really love turkey. It’s not weird, you’re weird.
There is something about roasting a turkey that is very intimidating. The idea of it used to overwhelm me. Even now when Thanksgiving comes up in conversation (obviously when I bring it up), people seem to put off from hosting Thanksgiving because the idea of roasting the turkey seems to complicated.
I am here to tell you it can be done. I turned to the person I knew could teach me the ins and outs of roasting the perfect turkey, Ina. I followed her Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe and have been making her turkey every year ever since. It is simple but tastes like you had been preparing it for weeks. I am passing it on to you, treat your bird well.
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 pounds)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large bunch fresh thyme
- 1 whole lemon, halved
- 1 Spanish onion, quartered
- 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves to the butter mixture. Set aside.
- Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, quartered onion, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.
- Roast the turkey about 2 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes.
- Slice the turkey and serve.
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