Make a roast turkey recipe

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Prepare roast turkey ahead for Thanksgiving or any party is perfect when you're short on time. With this technique, cooking the turkey the day before, the week before, or even the month before, tastes delicious and freshly carved.

Grill this turkey and serve it along with my Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Make Ahead Stuffing and a Make Ahead Pumpkin Pie for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner with less stress on the big day.

So when it comes to Thanksgiving, I try to eliminate as much stress from dinner as possible. This year I'm focusing on preparing holiday-ready meals, like the best and juiciest roast turkey with sauce, all prepared ahead of time.

But roasting is the only way to cook a turkey the day before and reheat it, to keep the turkey moist. Rather than reheating a whole turkey, the bird is carved and stored in its cooking juices, which protect meat if it needs to be frozen and turn into a delicious sauce ahead of time.

Plus, it frees up space in the oven so you can focus on the important things … like my grandmother's pumpkin pie or homemade growing rolls!

How to make roast turkey ahead of time:

Of all the easy turkey recipes out there, this one just works. Long before the guests arrive, I take off all the carving, take inventory, and make sauce with the turkey carcass, and then I'm fully prepared to deal with whatever else the day may bring. And that's why I think this is the best turkey recipe.

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  1. First, place the thawed turkey, breast side up, on a wire rack inside a roasting pan. Sprinkle all the turkey with poultry seasoning and a little freshly ground pepper.
  2. Then he tied the turkey: tuck the rings under the turkey and tie the drumsticks with kitchen string. That's it for the preparation!
  3. Roast the uncovered turkey in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Then, mix the chicken stock, herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic. Pour this mixture over the turkey and continue to cook the turkey, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 170 to 175 degrees.
  5. Depending on the size of the turkey you buy, this could take 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  6. You can spray the turkey with the broth mixture occasionally during cooking. If the turkey is browning too much before it is completely done, cover the bird with a sheet of loose foil.
  7. When done, remove the turkey from the oven and let it steep for about 20 minutes before cutting it.
  8. How to Freeze Turkey Beforehand: If you plan to freeze turkey meat, carve the turkey and place it in shallow containers. Pour the cooking juices over the meat slices, cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Cooking juices will protect the turkey and keep the meat moist and tender.

How to defrost and reheat frozen turkey:

  1. Thaw frozen turkey overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the turkey, covered, for about an hour, until a thermometer reads 165 degrees.
  3. Next, remove the turkey to a plate. Hold on to those cooking juices for salsa.

How to make Make Ahead Gravy sauce easy:

  1. In a saucepan, melt a little butter over medium heat and mix a little flour until smooth. Sprinkle on reserved cooking juices and continue whisking. Bring everything to a boil. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens, usually within a couple of minutes.
  2. Then taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Why is turkey cheaper around Thanksgiving?

If you've ever compared the prices of Butterball breeds or traditional turkeys, you may find that turkey is surprisingly affordable, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This is because from September to December, the supply of turkey is at its highest, with 500 to 600 million pounds of turkey waiting to be roasted over the holidays.

Additionally, grocery stores and markets keep Turkey's prices low to maximize profits. After all, nobody buys just turkey at the store; they also buy all the ornaments.

How to thaw a frozen turkey (the right way):

Buying a frozen turkey has both advantages and disadvantages. While frozen whole turkey may be less expensive, it takes a lot of extra time to defrost. (If you don't have time, find a cool bird that can be cooked right away.)

So how do you thaw a frozen turkey? Here's the best answer: Defrosting in the refrigerator is the only official and recommended way to defrost a frozen turkey.

So plan your party accordingly – you'll need 24 hours of defrost time for every 4-5 pounds of bird. A large 15-20 pound turkey will probably need to spend 4-5 days in the refrigerator.

  1. First, check the internal temperature of your refrigerator; Must be 40 degrees F or colder.
  2. Keep the turkey in its original packaging.
  3. Place the turkey in a shallow pan or pan to collect juices that may drip as it thaws.
  4. Store it at or near the bottom of your refrigerator so that if it leaks, it won't contaminate anything underneath.
  5. Allow 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of frozen turkey. As you can see, thawing a 20-pound turkey in the refrigerator can take up to a week. So be sure to plan ahead!
  • Up to 12 pounds: 1-3 days
  • 12-16 pounds: 3-4 days
  • 16-20 pounds: 4-5 days
  • 20-24 pounds: 5-6 days

Can you thaw a frozen turkey with cold water?

While it is possible to thaw a frozen turkey in a sink filled with cold water, it is difficult to do so safely. You should keep the water temperature at constant 40 degrees or colder the entire time it is defrosted.

This means that you should monitor the water temperature with an instant read thermometer and change the water approximately every half hour to maintain that temperature.

Because you need to allow 30 minutes of thawing for each pound of frozen turkey, it can take up to 10 hours for a 20-pound bird to thaw, requiring constant water changes every thirty minutes.

Why? If you don't keep the water cold, you risk contaminating your beautiful turkey with salmonella without even realizing it. In my opinion, it is too risky and troublesome to do it this way.

How NOT to thaw a turkey:

  • Never thaw a turkey with hot water. The risk of salmonella is very high when you use hot or warm water to thaw a frozen turkey.
  • Never defrost a turkey using a microwave. It's probably too big to fit in your microwave, but also, microwave cooking isn't the juiciest turkey in the world, either.
  • Whatever you do, don't defrost a turkey at room temperature. Regardless of what people may say, raw (or even frozen) meat or poultry should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours due to an increased risk of foodborne illness.

How is a turkey tied?

There is no need to dress up. All you have to do is fold the wings under the turkey and tie the legs. If you want to learn another way to tie a turkey, I explain the easiest way in my publication How to tie a chicken; You can also apply that technique to a larger bird. Just make sure you have some butcher's thread!

Without a doubt, a delicious seasoning for birds:

If you think of a turkey as an extra large chicken, it makes things a little less intimidating when you season the bird.

Anything that tastes good on chicken is just as wonderful in Turkey. Try an easy homemade bird seasoning like this.

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground marjoram
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper Along with salt, rub the seasoning all over your body, under your skin, inside the cavity, and on your legs.

How is turkey stuffing made?

Like most other recipes, this roast turkey ahead of time doesn't allow stuffing on the bird, but I have a great recipe for stuffing ahead of time, if only this season, and you want everything to be ready beforehand.

And that's not all! If you're looking for other early Thanksgiving recipes, here are two different ways to make the best green bean casserole: an oven version and a slow cooker version.

Need a foolproof recipe for smooth buttery mashed potatoes? They are to die for.

And here's the best pumpkin pie recipe anywhere, plus one that you can prep and freeze. (What about that pie crust? I can show you some tricks for that too). Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Prepare roast turkey ahead for Thanksgiving or any party is perfect when you're short on time. With this technique, cooking the turkey the day before, the week before, or even the month before, tastes delicious and freshly carved.

For the roast turkey:

  • 1 whole turkey 14-16 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons of bird seasoning (see Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried and crushed
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

At your service:

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon of flour

To make the roast turkey:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the turkey on a wire rack inside a roasting pan, breast side up. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning and pepper. Tuck your wings under the turkey; tie the drumsticks together.
  • Roasted, uncovered, 30 minutes. In a 4-cup measuring cup, mix together the broth, herbs, lemon zest and juice, and garlic; pour over turkey. Grill, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh indicates 170-175 °, about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  • While the turkey is roasting, occasionally drizzle with the broth mixture. Lightly cover with foil if the turkey browns too quickly.
  • Remove the turkey from the pan; Let stand at least 20 minutes before carving. Skim fat from cooking juices.

To freeze the roast turkey:

  • Cut the turkey and place it in shallow containers in the freezer. Pour the cooking juices over the turkey, then allow to cool slightly, about an hour. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months.

To serve the roast turkey:

  • Partially thaw the turkey in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Transfer the turkey and cooking juices to a baking sheet.
  • Pour 1 1/2 cups of broth over the top. Bake, covered, until a thermometer inserted into the turkey indicates 165 degrees, 50-60 minutes.
  • Remove the turkey in a bowl, reserving the cooking juices and keep it hot.
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, add the flour until smooth. Gradually add the cooking juices; Boil stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve the sauce along with the turkey.

Recipe Notes

It's easy to make your own poultry seasoning:

Store the rest of the seasoning in an airtight jar and keep it in the pantry.


Serving: 8 ounces | Calories :: 524kcal

Roast Make Turkey Recipe

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