That's right. It's turkey time.
How are you on turkey at Thanksgiving? I'm very medium. Mostly here for the sides, can manage if it's well cooked and the gravy is on point. It's never my FAVORITE thing, though. And the obvious next thing to say would be...."until now," but honestly still give me all the casseroles.
HOWEVER. This turkey is 1,000% delicious, flavorful, juicy, and just really really simple to make and make well.
My issue is dry turkey, mainly. This is not that.
The steps are incredibly simple! By salting the turkey overnight (or even 36 hours in advance) and letting it hang out UNCOVERED in the refrigerator, we give the salt time to flavor the meat and the skin dries out just enough to produce a brown, wonderfully crispy turkey skin moment in your life.
After the turkey has done its fridge magic (terrible band name), we rub it all over with soft butter, then more salt and pepper.
Roast the turkey, Turkeys.
Told you. Nothing fancy or difficult in the slightest. The keys are to 1. salt with CONFIDENCE, 2. let the turkey come to room temperature before it goes in the oven, and 3. take its temp while it roasts so that you take it out of the oven just as it's finishing cooking. When the internal temperature reads 155-160F, remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for about 30 minutes before carving. The temperature will continue to rise and the turkey essentially "finishes" cooking after it's out of the oven. This way we aren't overcooking our bird!
That's it, really. I've tried all kinds of fancy turkey recipes over the years and honestly this one is my favorite. I think that simplifying but doing it really well makes a huge difference, and lets the turkey shine with the casseroles that play such a big part of the experience.
For more Thanksgiving recipes, here's the entire category!
And also gravy. Save the drippings and make gravy.
Foolproof 4-Ingredient Roasted Turkey
- 1 whole thawed/fresh turkey 12-14 pounds
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 1 stick softened butter
- Place the turkey in a roasting pan (with or without a rack, just something that can fit in the fridge oven). Sprinkle the turkey generously all over with kosher salt. Place the salted turkey in the fridge uncovered for 12-24 hours.
- Remove the turkey from the fridge one hour before you'd like to begin cooking it. Rub the softened butter all over the turkey and under any loose skin. Sprinkle the turkey with another generous layer of salt and pepper.
- When the turkey has come to room temperature (at least 30 minutes out of the fridge), preheat the oven to 350F. Roast the turkey uncovered for 13 minutes per pound.
- Test the internal temperature of the turkey using a meat thermometer. Remove from the oven when the temperature is between 155 and 160F. Tent the turkey with foil and let rest for 30 minutes or more before carving. The temperature of the turkey will continue to rise out of the oven and it will be fully cooked when you slice and serve.
- Do not throw away the skin. Promise.