Roasted turkey is a meat that will be forever associated with Thanksgiving in the U.S., but many people in Canada and the United Kingdom also serve it for Christmas Day. As a child, I can remember Grandma’s roast turkey. The golden brown skin looked incredible and tasted divine. I would wait patiently for the slices of white juicy turkey to be carefully placed on my dinner plate. Grandma always gave me some of the skin too, which was the best part.
My three girls are huge fans of dark meat, which suits me just fine because I prefer the white. Yes, white meat covered in golden brown giblet gravy with a crack of black pepper is what I crave on Thanksgiving day. Seconds anyone?
My roast turkey recipe is easy and fool proof. The turkey is slathered in butter, stuffed with aromatics, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and placed breast side up in a pan of chicken stock. If you have never roasted a turkey, I encourage you to try it this year for the holidays. Serve it with giblet gravy, buttermilk whipped potatoes, cranberry sauce, caramelized onions, and buttermilk biscuits.Print
For the Turkey
- 1 13-pound turkey, completely thawed
- 2 Tbsp of softened butter
- 1/8 tsp of salt
- 1/8 tsp of fresh black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
For the Aromatics
- 2 carrots, cut in 1 1/2 chunks
- 1 onion, cut in quarters
- handful of celery leaves
- Crumpled aluminum foil to seal the opening of the turkey
Preparing the Turkey
- Allow your turkey several days to defrost in your refrigerator. It will take 3 to 4 days to thaw.
- Take your thawed turkey out of the fridge, so it can warm up to room temperature. This can take 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove the neck, giblets (heart, liver, gizzard) and possibly a gravy bag from the body or neck cavity. You can throw them out or keep them for giblet gravy.
- Clean the turkey inside and out by rinsing it with cold water.
- Place your turkey breast side up in the roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels.
Preparing the Oven
- Lower your oven rack to the bottom third. You might want to take out the extra rack.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
Preparing the Aromatics
- Place the quarter onion, cut up carrots and celery leaves inside the cavity. These vegetables will flavor the turkey from the inside, but will be thrown out after the turkey is roasted.
- Crumple up your aluminum foil to cover the opening of cavity.
- For ease, leave the turkey un-trussed.
- Rub the turkey all over with softened butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Pour 2 cups of chicken stock into the roasting pan.
Roasting the Turkey
- Place the turkey uncovered in the oven.
- Decrease the oven temperature to 350 F.
- Roast your turkey for 90 minutes. Using a turkey baster, a big spoon, or a ladle, baste the drippings all over the turkey.
- If the turkey is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil.
- Using a meat thermometer, check the temperature in the deepest part of the breast or thigh away from any bones. The temperature should read 170 F, and the juices should be clear when the thermometer is pulled out.
Resting the Turkey
- Let the turkey rest breast side up on a cutting board or on a large tray for 15-30 minutes.
- Cover it loosely with foil to keep it warm.
Roast your turkey for 13 minutes per pound at 350 F.
A 13 pound turkey will feed 12-14 people.