How To Cook A Turkey. Best Ever Turkey Recipe

The Best Turkey Recipe Is A Hybrid!

Photo of a pile of opened cookbooks for by Lisa Keating. Compiling my Best Turkey Recipe.
It’s November first and I’m craving this already. Some years I don’t wait for Thanksgiving to prepare this turkey recipe. This is pretty simple and so delicious. Check back in a few days, I’ll be posting my recipes for stuffing and other side dishes.

This serves 6 to 8 people and takes approximately 3 1/2 hours. I cook my turkey unstuffed.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 turkey – 14 1/2 lbs.
1 orange
10 Tablespoons unsalted (room temp) butter
2 Tablespoons Molasses (I use Black Strap)
1 Cup of Red Wine with a little water in it
1/4 Cup of Kosher Salt
2 springs fresh sage
1/4 Cup coarsely ground black pepper
2-3 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Use a fork to combine 8T butter, molasses, salt and pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.

Rinse turkey, remove gizzards, pat dry. Rub mixture between skin and meat, being careful not to pierce the skin. Any extra goes inside the cavity with the whole orange (I usually poke a few holes in the orange to release some of the juice).

Rub the skin on the outside of the turkey with the remaining 2 T of butter. Place some of the sage leaves between the skin and the breast meat. I like to arrange them in a sort of chevron pattern which looks beautiful when the turkey is finished cooking. Any extra sage goes in the cavity with the orange.

Put the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour the wine over the bird. Cook 1/2 hour breast side down, 1/2 hour more breast up (to brown). Tent loosely with foil and baste during remainder of cooking time. Serve with grapes. (Make sure to let the bird rest for about 10 or 15 minutes before carving.

This makes a succulent, beautiful turkey with exceptional flavor. Happy Thanksgiving.

photo by Lisa Keating


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How To Cook A Turkey. Best Ever Turkey Recipe — 7 Comments

  1. Pingback: Turkey. T-day Minus 4 | EncinoMom

  2. Turkey recipe looks good except for the cooking time. 1/2 hour breast side down & 1/2 hour more breast up would leave a raw turkey…I think I’ll cook it longer
    • Thanks Sharyl! Yes 1/2 hour breast side down and 1/2 breast side up is NOT enough. Total cooking time should be about 3 1/2 hours. The first hour is for browning. Once you turn and tent the bird you’ve still got 2 1/2 hours to go. Enjoy!
  3. This sounds absolutely yummy. On my way to the store to pick up a turkey. Waiting until Thanksgiving would be too long to wait to enjoy this delicious sounding turkey.
    • Hi Sherry,

      Have you ever brined your bird? I just brined and baked some chicken. I know some people brine their turkeys. I’ve never cooked turkey in a deep fryer, either. I’d love to hear whether you’ve had success with either of those methods?


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