How to Cook a Turkey – Moist, Delicious, and Beautiful Every Time

The holidays are coming up and a lot of people wanna show off a great turkey. So here’s a very simple and basic method for How to cook a turkey.

Ingredients for Turkey and Gravy:

For Turkey
12 lb Turkey
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp FRESH poultry seasoning
2 onions
3 ribs celery
2 carrots
3 rosemary sprigs
clove of garlic
1/2 bunch sage
1 bay leaf
6 cups of water
1 stick butter

For Gravy
3 cups cooking liquid from turkey pan (fat removed)
4 cups turkey stock from the neck
1/2 cup cooked onions from pan
2-3 tbsp turkey fat
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp chopped sage

How to Cook a Turkey

First, make a seasoning mix with black pepper, kosher salt, and poultry seasoning. Next, combine the cut-up onions, celery & carrots in a separate bowl.
For the flavored butter, mix together the rosemary, sage, garlic & butter.

Remove the package that comes inside the turkey. Add the neck, heart, and gizzard, (not the liver) to a medium saucepan with bay leaf and 6 cups of water. Simmer for a couple of hours. This will make a quick turkey stock for your gravy :) .

To prep the turkey, tuck your wing tips underneath the turkey so they don’t get burned. Pull the turkey up, and liberally season the inside and out with the seasoning mixture. Also, put a handful of the onion, celery & carrot mixture inside the turkey; along with some rosemary and sage. This will make for a very aromatic turkey that’s flavored from the inside.

Tie the turkey legs together with some string. You can use some unflavored dental floss.

For the outside prep, loosen the turkey skin on the top of the breast. You can start loosening with your fingers, and then use a rubber spatula (or something dull) to go further back.

Now that the skin is loosened, you can take the flavored butter (2 big spoonfuls) and put it underneath the skin. Rub the butter further back until it spreads out evenly. This will keep the breast moist and flavorful from the inside of the skin.

Take the remaining butter and spread on the outside of the skin on the top and sides. Then, make sure to salt and pepper the outside liberally with the to cook a turkey

Put the remaining onions, celery & carrots in a large baking pan with a small amount of water. The water will create a moist cooking environment, and will add some more juices for your gravy for later. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables.

Place foil over the turkey and keep it on for approximately half of the cooking time, so the turkey doesn’t get overcooked and dark on top.

Roast the turkey in a slow oven (325 degrees) for about 15 minutes per pound. Make sure to use a thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh.

For the last hour of cooking time, pull off the foil and give the turkey a little baste. Once the turkey is done, remove from oven, cover with foil, and let the turkey rest.

The Gravy:
We all know that the Thanksgiving meal is all about the gravy. It’s used to blanket the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and our luscious turkey, even though YOUR turkey will be moist and tender.

Begin by straining the turkey stock into a bowl. This should give you about 4 cups of broth. Spoon off the juices underneath the turkey. Put 2 tablespoons of the juices into a saucepan, along with 1 tablespoon of butter and some of the onions from underneath the turkey. The onions will give the gravy a little more sweetness and will add some more color.

Cook on medium heat until the onions brown a bit, then add 1/4 cup of flour to make a rue. Once you’ve cooked for about 5 minutes, add the juices from the roasting pan and the turkey neck stock. You should have about 6-8 cups total. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to medium and let simmer.

While the mixture is cooking you can skim off the fat that comes to the top. Then as an option, you can add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. The vinegar will balance out the sweetness and the acidity. Keep cooking until the gravy thickens and becomes the thickness that you want.

Very important…Do not salt the gravy until you’re finished cooking. If the gravy reduces more than you thought it will then be too salty.

Lastly, stir in your chopped sage to add a bit of freshness and sage flavor.

You’re done. Now you should have a beautiful juicy turkey with plenty of gravy to finish it off.
how to cook a turkeyNow you know how to cook a turkey moist, delicious, and beautiful every time!


Next, make sure to top your meal off with this luscious treat. Here’s the recipe for the Best Pumpkin Pie Ever

“how to cook a turkey simple”

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