Succulent Roast Turkey

One year I saw Alton Brown make a roast turkey on Food Network, and our Thanksgivings were transformed forever! This is a recipe that I look forward to executing every year, and you will love it too. It makes people so happy to taste juicy turkey. My dad even called me one year and put me on his radio show to tell people how I do this. Enjoy it and have a great Thanksgiving! Of course, I’ll be talking to you all before then, but I wanted to give you a head start on thinking about Turkey Day…

Carving it correctly is part of what makes it so good, here are the two turkey breasts carved and ready to eat.

Succulent Roast Turkey
Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe from his show "Good Eats" years ago. The high heat seals in the juices and the aromatic stuffing infuses the meat with flavor.
  • Your turkey of choice: I have used Kosher, non-Kosher, brined or not. They all come out fabulous with this technique.
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 large apple, your choice of variety
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 cinnamon sticks or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bunch fresh sage (fresh is important and it's widely available this time of year)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Special equipment: Roasting pan with rack, very clean oven and a probe thermometer such as the Polder Digital In-Oven Thermometer
  1. Preheat your very clean oven to 500°F. Adjust oven racks so one is at the bottom and remove the other racks to make room for the turkey.
  2. Create your aromatic stuffing (This is not a stuffing to eat, it's one to flavor the turkey. I make bread stuffing outside of the bird because it actually dries out your turkey if left inside.) Cut the unpeeled apple and the onion into large chunks and place in a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. To that bowl, add the two cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon and the sage as well as ½ cup of water. Microwave for 2 minutes on high.
  4. Remove turkey from its wrapping, remove giblets and rinse the turkey inside and out. Drain, place on the rack in roasting pan and dry well with paper towels.
  5. Rub vegetable oil (not anything else! Butter and olive oil will scorch.) all over the turkey and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  6. Take the apple/onion mixture and stuff all of it (leaving the water behind in the bowl) into the cavity of the turkey.
  7. When your oven has fully preheated, slide the turkey into the oven and set your timer for 30 minutes exactly.
  8. After 30 minutes, slide the turkey out of the oven and cover the breasts with a doubled piece of aluminum foil. Gently pat it down to mold the foil over the turkey, using potholders. Insert the probe thermometer into a thick part of the breast and reduce the oven's heat to 350°F. Slide back into the oven.
  9. Remove the turkey from the oven when the thermometer (which is in the breast) reaches 163°F. Juices will run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh.
  10. Let the turkey rest on your counter or cutting board for 20 minutes or more.
  11. Carve and serve. I remove the breasts and slice them with an electric knife (see photo) so everyone gets a piece of crispy skin if they would like it. Then I proceed with taking off the thighs, drumsticks and wings and arranging everything on a platter. Use a cutting board with a deep trench, even when you let it rest properly this turkey is very juicy.
  12. Enjoy your succulent turkey!


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