How to Roast a Turkey...Kitchen Tip

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Today for our Kitchen Tip we're going to talk Turkey.  Thanksgiving is next week and things are slowly coming together in our house.  It's our turn to host and I'm very excited.  It's my favorite holiday and I really do enjoy cooking and all the other work that's involved.  AND this year my Colonel is home!  Last year he was stationed in Afghanistan.  Roasting a turkey should be the easiest thing to prepare on your menu.  

How to Roast a Turkey on Walking on Sunshine Recipes

The Night Before: 
1.  Remove the turkey from the packaging and remove the neck and giblets from the cavity.  You can use these to make turkey stock if desired...I usually throw them away.  
2.  Rinse the turkey under cold water; making sure you rinse the cavity with water as well.  Pat dry with paper towels. 3.  Place the turkey on a tray and cover with paper towels and aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.  

The Next Morning:

1.  Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and uncover.  
2.  Place the turkey, breast side up in the roasting pan.
3.  If you are roasting the turkey with stuffing, add your prepared stuffing now to the cavity of the turkey.   If you are not stuffing the turkey, make sure you salt and pepper the cavity.  You can also add onions, apples, celery, carrots and parsnips to the cavity of the bird.  These will all add to moisture and flavor the turkey.  Make sure you stuff loosely.  
4.  Turn the wings back or under the bird.  Using kitchen twine, truss the legs of the turkey together…
(Photo Credit:  Betty Crocker)

5.  Cover the turkey with softened butter, the more the better.  This is Thanksgiving and calories don’t count.  Now sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper.  I like to also use poultry seasoning.  You can use whatever spices you prefer.  
6.  Roast the turkey at 400 degrees for the first 20 minutes.  Then lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue cooking until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey’s thigh reads 170 degrees.   

(Chart found on Butterball)

7.  If you notice that the turkey is getting too brown while it is cooking, cover loosely with aluminum foil.  
8.  Don’t forget to baste your turkey!  I like to baste every 20 minutes or so using chicken stock.  I also like to baste the turkey a few times with melted butter.  
9.  Once the turkey is finished cooking, remove it from the oven.   Take the turkey out of the roasting pan and place on a cutting board.  Cover the turkey with aluminum foil.  Let the turkey rest for 30 to 60 minutes before carving.

I like to roast my turkey early in the day and have it carved before my guests arrive; that way I can have my kitchen clean!  I then place the sliced turkey in my roaster pan to keep warm.  I fill the bottom tray of my roaster with warm water and then place the sliced turkey in the other tray and insert into the roaster; turning the roaster to the warm setting.  The warm water keeps the sliced turkey warm without drying it out.  I usually serve the turkey right from the roaster that is set up on my buffet table.  

You can see the roaster in the left hand corner of the buffet table 
set up in our kitchen three years ago...

Just follow these simple steps and tips and your turkey 
will look as delicious as the one pictured below...

Roast Turkey / Walking on Sunshine Recipes


  1. My husband usually manages the turkey - but I like this post and the tips! I think we're smoking ours this year - but we'll see how that goes.

  2. Dear Lois, All good advice. I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is almost here!! Blessings dear. Catherine

  3. This looks amazing, I love the smell in the house when I cook a turkey.

  4. G'day Looks AMAZING Lois! All blog comments appreciated and sharing is caring today!
    Cheers! Joanne @ What's On The List #SayGdayParty pinned

  5. Hello gorgeous! I'm licking my lips right now, it looks so good! Great tips. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see on Monday at 7 pm. We love to party with you! Happy Sunday~Lou Lou Girls