My parents always host our Family’s Thanksgiving. The guest list ranges anywhere from 30 to 50 people, depending on the year. I always help my Mom with the cooking. I absolutely love it. We have so much fun together in the kitchen. We start a couple days early and are usually fueled by some holiday sangria. My Mom cooks the turkey and together we make the countless side dishes. Last year was the first time my Husband and I hosted Friendsgiving at our house. I had never made a turkey before so I was a little nervous. But it was SO much easier than I thought! It just takes time so plan on not really leaving your house that day. I saw this recipe on an episode of “Pioneer Woman” and it seemed easy enough. The turkey came out perfect! I made it again for our Friendsgiving that we hosted over the weekend and it was another success.
- 1 15 to 20 lb turkey
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 3 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 orange, julienned zest
Unless you’re buying a fresh turkey, I would recommend buying a frozen turkey about a week in advance. I defrost my turkey in the fridge and it takes several days. There is nothing worse than getting ready to cook your turkey and finding that its still frozen.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
Wash your turkey thoroughly and pat dry. Place the turkey breast side up on the rack of a large roasting pan. Tent the turkey with heavy duty foil and make sure the foil doesn’t touch the turkey. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes per pound. So, for a 20 pound turkey, you would need to cook it for 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Once this time is up, remove the turkey from the oven and increase to oven heat to 375 degrees. If you are stuffing your turkey, this is the point which you do that. Fill the cavity with your favorite stuffing (find recipe here) and then use kitchen twine to tie the legs together. To cover the cavity, I used a small apple.
In a mixing bowl, combine softened butter with orange zest and rosemary. Using your hands (remove your rings first) rub the entire turkey with the butter mixture. Be sure you’re getting into all the of the crevices. Then place the turkey uncovered into the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Then use a turkey baster to baste the turkey. This is the key to a moist turkey. Make sure the baste the WHOLE turkey! Place the turkey back into the oven and repeat every 30 minutes until a meat thermometer inserted into the hip reads 165 degrees. This will take about 1 to 3 hours more hours, depending on the size of your turkey. Remove from oven and cover lightly with foil until ready to serve.
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