Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

thanksgiving turkey

★★★★★ 3
a recipe by
Christine Whisenhunt
Visalia, CA

If you think you can't cook a turkey or your bird always comes out dry, then this recipe is for you! I have taken my "no fail" method for cooking my turkey and added a few holiday flavors to make it my entry for the Thanksgiving main dish contest. When I say no fail, I mean no fail. It comes out beautiful and juicy EVERY time! That is how I always do my bird, and everyone ALWAYS raves. Until now, no one knew how simple it was, so my secret is out! LOL I hope you will try it and enjoy it as much as my family always has.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

This delicious turkey will shine brightly at your holiday meal. The flavors from the fruit and herbs are evident in every bite. Super juicy, this turkey recipe is so easy and comes out perfect!

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★★ 3
prep time 30 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For thanksgiving turkey

  • 1
    turkey, whatever size you want
  • poultry seasoning
  • orange slices
  • fresh cranberries
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • fresh oregano sprigs
  • olive oil

How To Make thanksgiving turkey

  • 1
    Remove neck and giblets from cavities. Rinse bird well inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. (Do not remove the clamp that holds the legs together. If it comes off, put it back on as best you can.) Put bird into a roasting pan on top of a rack. I use a large baking rack (like you would use to cool cookies on), so that the bird cooks about ½ an inch above the bottom of the pan.
  • 2
    Rub entire bird with olive oil and poultry seasoning. Be generous! VERY generous! Bird should be covered well with a darkish paste (not thick, very smooth and wet) when you are finished. I start with the underside and then flip it over and finish so it's ready to go.
  • 3
    Loosen skin over breast. Insert slices of orange, sprigs of thyme and oregano. Arrange under skin so that it makes a nice presentation and lays flat to the bird. Take a large handful of fresh cranberries and a few more orange slices and place them into the cavity of the bird.
  • 4
    Take aluminum foil and make a tent over the bird. (If foil is not wide enough to cover the bird and seal edges well, put two pieces together and fold them over a couple times in the middle to make a seam that is sealed well.) Make sure foil is tented high enough that it is not touching the bird. It does not have to be well above the bird, just not touching it; an inch or two above the breast is plenty. Tuck and crimp foil under the edges of the pan all the way around and make sure it is sealed well. Place bird in oven. You’re probably going to have to put it on the bottom rack to allow room for the tent, as it will be fairly high.
  • 5
    Cook your bird according to the temp and time directions on the packaging for the weight of the bird.
  • 6
    When bird is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before removing tent and carving it. Bird will still be very hot, don’t worry. NOTE: This is VERY important! If you skip this step, the juices will run out of your bird and it will be VERY dry.
  • 7
    I don’t know how it works, but when you take that tent off, the bird will be brown and gorgeous, juicy and falling off the bone. Enjoy!