Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

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Avatar Author's default profile picture Team Published: April 8, 2020 Modified: May 12, 2021
Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

This recipe makes delicious Thanksgiving turkey a cinch!

How To Make Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey

  • 15 lb turkey (preferably fresh young turkey)
  • 1 orange
  • 2 spanish onions
  • fresh poultry herbs: rosemary, thyme and sage (handfuls of each)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 carrots (chopped)
  • 4 stalks celery (chopped)

For Rub:

  • 1 cup margarine (melted)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Open your turkey and drain any liquid that may be present if your turkey is fresh.
  3. Put your turkey in a strainer in the sink and rinse the skin. Check poultry cavity for giblets or neck and set aside.
  4. Chop your orange into 8 segments. Chop up both onion into different sized pieces. Chop carrots and celery stalks.
  5. Stuff the poultry cavity with the orange segments, one chopped onions, one chopped carrot, one chopped celery stalk and the fresh herbs (sage, thyme and rosemary).
  6. Place 1 C. water in bottom of a metal roasting pan big enough to hold your turkey. Add the other chopped onion and the remaining chopped carrots and celery stalks. Place turkey in pan, bottom side up.
  7. Mix all rub ingredients except for margarine together in a bowl. Pour half of the melted margarine onto the turkey and then rub in your spice mixture to coat the skin. Place in the oven for 1.5 hours.
  8. At this point, remove the turkey and turn it over so the topside is up. Use two forks to pierce the bird at both ends and flip over (you will probably need another person to help you).
  9. Mix the margarine with the spice mixture and brush it onto the topside of the turkey to avoid burning your hands. Return turkey to the oven and cook for 2 more hours.

How To Make Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey

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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 40 mins
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  • 15 lb turkey, preferably fresh young turkey
  • 1 pc orange, slice into 4 wedges
  • 3 cups yellow onion, chopped in dices, divide 1 cup
  • 5 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 4 pcs sage leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups carrots, chopped in dices, divide 1 cup
  • 3 cups celery stalks, chopped in dices, divide 1 cup

For Rub:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, keep at room temperature
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Using a spatula, mix your butter with the rest of the rub ingredients then set aside.

  3. Open your turkey and drain any liquid that may be present if your turkey is fresh. Pat dry with clean kitchen towels then check poultry cavity for giblets or neck and set aside.

  4. Place your turkey on a wire rack then carefully spread the herb butter all over the the bird including the cavity.

  5. Stuff the poultry cavity with the orange, garlic, 1 cup of onions, 1 cup of carrots, 1 cup of celery, and the fresh herbs.

  6. Tie both legs with a twine to make sure you keep all the stuffing intact.

  7. In a deep roasting pan, pour a cup of water, then layer the bottom of the pan with the remaining vegetables.

  8. Place your turkey in the pan, breast side up. Loosely wrap the pan with kitchen foil then place it in the oven.

  9. Roast your turkey covered for 1 hr and 30 mins, then remove the foil. Place it back in the oven and continue roasting for 2 hrs.

  10. Using a silicone brush, baste your turkey with the melted butter and juices from the bottom of the pan. Do this for at least every 30 mins. This will give your turkey a nice golden brown color.

  11. After cooking, let your turkey rest for at least 15 mins and check if internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F.

  12. Keep the juices from the pan for your gravy and remove the stuffing from the cavity. Serve in a nice carving board with a garnish of fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Remember to wash your hands, but not the turkey.  Many consumers think that washing their turkey will remove bacteria and make it safer.  However, it’s virtually impossible to wash bacteria off the bird. Instead, juices that splash during washing can transfer bacteria onto the surfaces of your kitchen, other foods and utensils. This is called cross-contamination, which can make you very sick.  Washing your hands before and after handling your turkey and its packaging is crucial to avoid spreading harmful bacteria.
  • Be sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds.  This simple, but important step can help keep you and your guests safe from foodborne illness.  If your raw turkey or its juices come in contact with kitchen surfaces, wash the counter tops and sinks with hot, soapy water. 
  • Roasting will get rid of the bacteria on your turkey, just make sure to follow a safe minimum internal temperature of 165  degrees F as measured with a food thermometer.  

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