Last year I cooked a gorgeous turkey thanks to Ina Garten. While I was reading over her words of wisdom on cooking the perfect turkey, I realized that it could really be broken down into 5 easy steps, which made me wonder what all the fuss was about. If I can get a perfectly roasted, deliciously crisp Thanksgiving turkey in 5 steps from Ina Garten, why on earth would I stray from that path?
So, here is our foolproof and simple way to get a turkey in the oven and roasting to perfection in no time at all. It will give you plenty of time to fiddle with the perfect cranberry sauce, whip up the sweet potato casserole of your dreams, expertly mash potatoes and put the finishing touches on your favorite pumpkin pie.
Ina Garten’s Thanksgiving Turkey
1 fresh turkey (10-12 pounds)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed slightly
1 large onion, quartered
1 bunch thyme sprigs
freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together melted butter, zest and juice from one lemon. Reserve lemon hulls for later.
2. Rinse the turkey down and pat dry with paper towels. Remove giblets. Salt the inside of the turkey cavity and add in the reserved lemon, onion, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs and the additional halved lemon.
3. Tie the legs together and the wings to the body. Place in a large roasting pan. Brush turkey skin all over with the melted butter. Salt and pepper the entire bird.
4. Tent a piece of foil over the turkey to cover and roast at 350 degrees F for about two and a half hours.
5. When the breast temperature reaches 170 degrees, pull the bird out and place on a cutting board, again tented with aluminum foil. Allow to sit at least 30 minutes before carving.
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