Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving (or Anytime)

I didn’t eat much Turkey on Thanksgiving because my dad is severely allergic to turkey but I did roast a turkey my junior year of college. My best friends, Steven and Amanda were roped into my Thanksgiving madness and went grocery shopping at my insistence to get a huge bird. Steven and I were left to our own devices and made a whole Thanksgiving dinner for 16. Steven and I had a blast making all the food while Amanda sat at the table and encouraged our madness. Our guests looked totally bewildered when they arrived the next day to a MOUNTAIN of food. Maybe we were nesting but we made enough food for like 30 people. The main problem with our feast was that we invited our shy, nervous friends who were overwhelmed by the 3 pies and 25 pound turkey. They barely ate a bite. So instead of one day of endless gluttony we ended up eating roast turkey for days. I mean months. I mean, it would not end. Thankfully we had a really delicious turkey and we were able to trick unsuspecting foreign exchange students into taking some so they didn’t subsist off of ramen for 4 days straight.

This recipe isn’t really a recipe but some general guidelines to make a delicious turkey. Since the weight and size of the turkey will determine cooking time and how much you can stuff inside use your discretion about the ingredients.

Roast Turkey

  • 1 whole turkey 10 – 25 pounds
  • Celery salt
  • Hungarian parika
  • cracked black pepper
  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2  large orange
  • 2- 3 star anise
  • 2 – 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 can drained chestnuts
  • Juniper berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh Sage
  • Fresh Tarragon

Move rack to lowest position in the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brine the turkey in a salt, sugar, and pepper bath the day before if you have time.

The day of combine the celery salt, cracked black pepper and Hungarian paprika with the softened butter in a bowl.

Slather the outside and inside of the turkey.

Stuff the bird with orange, star anise, bay leaves, onion, chestnuts, juniper berries and cinnamon stick.

Lay an arrangement of fresh rosemary, sage, and tarragon on top of and around the turkey in the roasting pan.

Roast for 12 minutes per pound and baste every 30 minutes with melted butter.

The turkey is done when it reaches 175 degrees – 180 degrees at the thickest point.

Let turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.

  • Fresh marjoram
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One thought on “Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving (or Anytime)

  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving Dinner | The Great American Feast

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