Moist and Delicious! Roast Turkey


OK, here’s this year’s Thanksgiving menu…traditional as it can be. Know what’s fun though, the kids are already talking about the turkey, the plates we’ll use (who knew they even noticed!), the dinner table, and even the sparkling apple cider they get as a treat with dinner. It’s funny, I never realized how many elements of dinner become part of the tradition. I’m glad I know this now.


Back to the menu:  Click on the links for the recipes.

  • Turkey (moist and delicious)
  • Gravy
  • Sagey sausage stuffing
  • Orange Cranberry Sauce
  • Southern smashed potatoes
  • Gotta have sweet potatoes
  • Green Beans (Mama’s own)
  • Green Salad (for the purists) — no link. Your choice


Roast Turkey, Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Thanksgiving


Good old fashioned roast turkey…the kind gramma always made – only not really. See, just about every gramma followed the “low and slow” method (which was, by the way, the method taught to them by their moms and grandmas before them). Low heat for hours and hours. One problem… it’s a perfect way to ensure your turkey will be dried out. Try this method to have moist, delicious turkey, save some time, and oh yea, did I mention it’s moist and delicious? (one more thing…turkey isn’t just for Thanksgiving! Once you’ve tried this method, you’ll see why it’s great year round.)

You’ll start by preheating the oven … to 500 degrees. Yes. 500. (I do this with chicken and turkey all the time! So will you once you’ve tried this. Trust me….!)


Here’s what you’ll need based on a 14-16 pound turkey.


1 stick unsalted butter — room temperature
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme (uncut)                                                                                        1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley (about half the amount of thyme)                                      1 whole lemon cut in half (use the lemon you zested)
1 Spanish onion, quartered
1 apple quartered (anything but a granny smith)
1/2 cup cooked chestnuts (optional)


Now… let’s give this bird a little flavor!

Start with removing the giblets et al, and then wash your turkey – inside and out – and pat dry. Trim away any fat. Then with your hand flat, slip it between the skin and the breast meat to create a “sleeve” to put some flavoring — be careful not to break the skin. Place in in the roasting pan and generously salt and pepper the cavity.


Now make your herb butter.

Take the stick of butter (room temperature!), mix it with 1 tablespoon of chopped thyme leaves, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon of salt. By the tablespoon, scoop this mixture in the space between the skin and the breast meat and smush it around so it covers the whole breast (you’ll see it through the skin). Use about 2/3 of the mixture.

Take the remainder of the herb butter and rub the exterior of the breast skin and legs.


Now take the bunches of thyme and parsley, quartered lemon, quartered onion, and quartered apple and stuff them into the cavity. There’s some flavor!


Truss your turkey (tie those legs together, and tie the wings close to the body). Fifty shades of … nothing! We’re just keeping the turkey moist.

Now go wash those hands, you messy thing, you!


Place the turkey in the oven at 500 for 30 minutes.  DON’T WORRY! You’re searing the skin to hold in the moisture — and it works like a charm!  Now reduce the heat to 350 for another 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  Check the temperature: you’re looking for the internal temperature to be 161. Take it out and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Enjoy!!!


Did you ever think it would be so easy?

Click on these for some great additions:






Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.Read more at: