This turkey recipe is unlike anyone else's in my family: I cook the bird breast down! The white meat is not dried out, doesn't need cups of gravy, but is so moist and full of flavor!! I also cook the turkey stuffing separately, not in the cavity, which allows the turkey to cook more evenly and quickly.
I used a 12 lb turkey, thawed
1/2 sweet onion
Salt & Pepper
2 Bay leaves
4 sprigs (or 2 Tbsp) Rosemary
4 sprigs (or 2 tbsp) Thyme
Dried flaked onion (optional)
1. If the turkey has been refrigerated, bring it to room temperature before cooking. Have the bird resting in a pan, so that if the plastic covering leaks for any reason, you are confining the juices to the pan.
2. Make sure you remove the neck and gizzards before cooking. Wash out the turkey with water, then pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
3. Rub the inside cavity of the turkey with salt & pepper. Quarter the onion and stuff it inside the cavity, along with bay leaves, 1/2 of your rosemary, and 1/2 of your thyme.
4. Rub olive oil all over the outside of the turkey. Sprinkle with remaining herbs (and dried onion) generously all over the outside of the turkey.
5. Place your prepped turkey BREAST DOWN on a rack placed inside a sturdy roasting pan (not recommended to use a foil pan).
Put the turkey in the oven. Cooking times vary depending on weight of the bird; the rule is 15 minutes per pound.
6. Start the cooking at 400 F for the first 1/2 hour. Then reduce the heat to 350 F for the next 3 hours.
7. You know the turkey is done when the thermometer reads 165°F for the white meat (breast) and 175°F for the dark meat (thighs and legs). Insert your thermometer in the thickest portion of the bird, deep but not touching bone. The juices should be clear, no pink whatsoever.
8. Once its done, let the bird rest for about 20 minutes. This will seal in all your juices!
This goes great with some classic cranberry sauce!
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