I have taken over the Thanksgiving; every year my family request that I make the turkey and mash potatoes. I don't do anything fancy or have a secret recipe to share with you. But I do have a cooking method that never fails.
The key to a perfectly cooked and juicy turkey is Reynolds Oven Bags . Without fail, my turkey comes out perfectly tender, extremely juicy, and always cooked through. You can buy these bags everywhere. But for some reason, I find so many of my friends cooking a turkey the old school way.
Old school - as in setting a timer and running to the oven to baste your turkey every 30 minutes. I have a whole dinner to cook! Who has the time or patience for basting?
Make sure to buy the turkey size bag. The large kitchen bag won't cut it. Read the directions on how long to cook the bird. The Reynolds package will break it down by weight. I find the time chart is perfect. Always go with the longer amount if it gives you a range. Once the time is up, pull out the bird and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting. I use this time to make my gravy.
The directions will tell you to cut a few holes to let the steam out. Make sure not to make these too large or make too many. The point of the bag is to keep all the juice. If you have too many holes, it will evaporate away.
The Reynolds bag is how I perfectly cook my bird. Here is how I make it taste good.....
I always defrost my turkey in the refrigerator. For a 20-25 lb bird, you will need about 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator to defrost. Clean the bird and remove all the extras that are left in the body cavity. I then salt and pepper the inside. I take 4 slices of real butter and gently place it between the breast meat and the skin. This step can be hard for some. Just slide your hand between the skin and meat and push the butter inside. This will help keep the meat nice and juicy. After that, I rub the bird down with olive oil and season the outside with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, rosemary, and a pinch of thyme.
It's that simple!