This juicy turkey recipe with crispy skin is easy! The secret is to start out low-and-slow then crank up the heat to crisp up the skin for the finish.
Dry turkey is the death of a truly great, memorable Thanksgiving meal, so it’s no wonder that it’s known to make even seasoned cooks a little nervous. It doesn’t need to, though, as it’s really quite simple to prepare a perfect Thanksgiving turkey every single year if you use this easy juicy turkey recipe!
The problem is that for really juicy, tender turkey meat, you need to cook it low and slow. But doing so prevents the skin from getting crispy and achieving that deep, gorgeous brown color that makes your turkey look like something off the cover of Food and Wine magazine. To get crispy, deeply browned skin you need to cook your turkey over a high heat so the fat renders and gets crispy.
So how do you get a juicy bird AND crispy skin?
The trick is to start out low and slow then crank up your heat during the last hour or so, allowing the skin to crisp and brown while keeping the meat tender and juicy. I’ve been using this juicy turkey recipe for years and it has never, ever failed me.
But I’m not going to share the story about the first time I cooked a Thanksgiving turkey and forgot to remove the bag from inside my turkey. My mother-in-law pulled it out when she was helping me carve it – I was so embarrassed! But we had a good laugh and, even though she’d sworn she wouldn’t tell anyone at the table about my little mishap, I couldn’t keep it to myself and blabbed to everyone over stuffing and sweet potato pie. Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself and your cooking mistakes, maybe you should get out of the kitchen! Cooking needs to be fun and stress-free – it was a lesson I learned early on and am glad I haven’t forgotten it. If only I’d had this juicy turkey recipe back then – at least the bird itself might have distracted everyone!
I made quite a Thanksgiving feast this year, all new recipes (except, of course, for this Juicy Turkey Recipe) and all turned out fantastic (well, except for one that I’m still tweaking…maybe it’ll make the cut next year)! I’ll be sharing the recipes for Three Mushroom & Parmesan Stuffing and Sweet Potato Casserole with a Crunchy Pecan Topping and a Marshmallow Drizzle in the next week – plenty of time for you to test them before the big meal. I love the earthy stuffing with the sweet potato casserole, such a great combination! I also have a recipe for Chocolate Chess Pie with Rum Whipped Cream that is soooo good, the whipped cream is what really makes it awesome. I’ve served it with ice cream, too, but it just wasn’t the same.
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By the way…my daughter pointed out that the photo above looks like a face. Only a ten-year-old! But now that she pointed it out, it’s all I can see every time I look at it :)
- 1 12- pound turkey
- 1 cup butter, melted
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- handful each of fresh thyme and rosemary
- 2 carrots, cut into 6 pieces
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 6 pieces
- 4-6 cups vegetable, chicken or turkey stock
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels then season the inside and out with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Place herbs, carrots and celery into turkey cavity.
- Place breast-side up in a roasting pan and brush all over with 1/2 cup melted butter. Pour 4 cups stock into bottom of roasting pan. Tent with foil and roast for 2 1/2 hours (add 15 minutes for each additional pound). Remove the foil, baste with remaining melted butter. Increase oven temperature to 425F. Place turkey back in oven and roast for another hour or until the meat at the thigh registers 165F. Add more stock to bottom of roasting pan, if needed.
- Remove from oven and loosely tent turkey with foil. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 671 Saturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 291mg Sodium: 564mg Carbohydrates: 9g Fiber: 2g Protein: 77g