Turkey has always been that dish that everybody considers to be dry. For the longest time, my family would choose roasted ham over roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, well, until we tried out this recipe!
And guess what, this turkey is going to come out so flavorful and juicy, and you don't even have to brine it! Don't get me wrong, brining is a wonderful process, but it could also become such a hassle. Some people will even brine their turkey for days! Just remember, you cannot cook a turkey if its frozen! Just make sure to start early, it takes time, days of time!
Defrosting your Turkey
So if you have a frozen turkey, you'd ideally want to defrost it completely in the refrigerator. I'd keep it in its packaging intact, but also place it in a large, deep roasting pan to prevent leaks running through your refrigerator shelves while it defrosts. Give it 24 hours for every 3–4 pounds.
In short, your turkey will need 2-3 days to completely defrost depending on the size of your bird.
A quicker but less recommended method for defrosting is to submerge the turkey in cold water (30 minutes per pound or 500g). Make sure your turkey is in a leak proof bag to submerge it in and change the water every 30 minutes or so to keep it cool.
It can take up to three hours to get the chill out of the turkey (depending on the size of the bird). Allow it to come close to room temperature before cooking so it roasts evenly.
Once it has defrosted, pull out the neck and giblets (discard them or use them in soups or stews). Rinse the turkey inside and out, pluck out any stray feathers, and pat dry with paper towel before roasting.
Roasting your Turkey
- 10 pound | 5kg: 2 hrs 15 min
- 12 pound | 6 kg: 2 hrs 35-45 minutes
- 14 pound | 7 kg: 3 hrs
- 16 pound | 8 kg: 3 hrs 15-20 min
- 18 pound | 9 kg: 3 hrs 45-55 min
- 20 pound | 10 kg: 4 hrs 15-20 min
Remember: this is just an estimate. Check the temperature early on to ensure you’re not over or under cooking. Insert your meat thermometer between the breast and leg. It should read 165°F | 75°C (breast should read 160°F (70°C). The turkey will continue to cook for several minutes after you remove it from the oven, so it’s best to take it out about 5 minutes before it reaches the suggested temperature.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, pierce the breast meat with a knife. The turkey juices should run clear, not pink.
The Juiciest Turkey Recipe
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 - 7 H0urs
Total Time: 5 Hours 15 Minutes - 7 Hours 15 Minutes
- 10-20 lb Free-Range Whole Turkey, Skin On (fully defrosted, washed, giblets and neck removed)
- 1 1/2 Sticks of Soft Butter
- 2 Onions (Peeled and Halved)
- 1 Lemon (Halved)
- 1 Head of Garlic (Halved Horizontally)
- 4 tbsps Loubier Gourmet Italian Topper
- 6 Bay Leaves
- 8 Strips of Smoked Bacon
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil (for the butter)
- Olive Oil (To Drizzle)
- Lemon Zest
- Lemon Juice
- 3 Garlic Cloves (Peeled and Crushed)
- Small Bunch of Parsley (Chopped)
- 3 Tomatoes (Chopped)
- 3 Cups Apple Juice
- 4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 1 tbsp of Loubier Gourmet All Purpose Seasoning
Directions for the Butter and Turkey Prep
You want to start by preheating the oven to 400 Degrees F. Now to prepare the herb butter. Start with the butter in a large bowl. Add in your Loubier Gourmet Italian Topper, Salt, & Pepper, Olive Oil, and mix well.
Then you want to add in your lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic, and chopped parsley. Mix well.
Remove the giblets from the turkey cavity and season the cavity well with Loubier Gourmet Italian Topper, Salt, and Pepper. Stuff the cavity with halved onions, halved lemon, halved garlic and 2 bay leaves.
Now for the fun part. Begin to loosen up the turkey skin with your hands, but not too much because you want it to hug the butter you’re going to put in there.
Stuff half of your butter mixture under the skin and massage it so that its evenly spread throughout the turkey. Then you want to cover the outside of the turkey with the rest of the butter mixture.
Lastly, insert the rest of the bay leaves under the skin of the breasts.
Directions for Roasting the Turkey
Place your turkey in a large roasting tray, breast side up. Season well with Loubier Gourmet Italian Topper, Salt & Pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil so the butter does not burn (same reason why we added olive oil to our butter mixture). I would also recommend you tie the legs together and tuck the wings back so they do not open up.
Roast your turkey in your 400 degrees F oven for 12-15 minutes. Once that has been done, take the turkey out and baste it with the pan juices and lay the bacon over the breasts (so the turkey does not burn). Usually people lay tin foil, but we want to add in a little more flavor too!
Turn your oven down to 350 degrees F, baste your turkey again, and throw your turkey back in for 2 ½ hours. Baste occasionally!
Once the time is up, your turkey should be done, but to double check, insert a knife into the thickest part of the leg and if the juices run clear rather than pink it's good! Or make sure the temperature of that thickest part is at least 165 degrees F.
Now for the most important part. Transfer your turkey a platter or plate, cover it up with some aluminum foil and let it rest for AT LEAST 45 minutes. This is when it will absorb all the juices. For the best results, let it rest for 2-3 hours!
While it rests, you want to get the gravy done, and once that is done, it is all ready to serve!
Directions for the Gravy
This is going to be the pinnacle to your flavor! Start by cutting up your bacon and throwing it into a large pan if you aren’t able to cook in the tray you used to roast your turkey.
Next, you want to take the stuffing out of the turkey (the roasted onions and lemon), chop them up, and throw them in with the bacon. Let them cook for a second, be moving them around constantly.
Add rosemary, 3 chopped tomatoes, a dash of Loubier Gourmet All Purpose Seasoning, turkey trimmings like the wing tips and more (bits you don’t eat), and continue to cook your mixture.
Now it should be time to deglaze your pan, so add in your apple juice and the juices from the resting turkey, and let it reduce by half. Once that has been done, add in your chicken or veggie stock and let it reduce again.
Your gravy is pretty much done now. All you have to do is pour it through a sieve to separate the solids and the liquids, and you have your gravy!
Now serve it all together, and enjoy :)