1 (12 to 14 lb) turkey (or larger if desired)
Fresh thyme or sage
Prepared stuffing mix (16 oz package)
1 stick of unsalted butter (room temperature)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut plastic wrapping, remove the neck and package of gizzards, wash the turkey thoroughly inside and out with cold water. Set aside neck and gizzards to make turkey stock later.
3. Place the turkey on a cutting board with the legs up. (Note: If your turkey has a “pop-up” thermometer, that side should be on top.) Legs should be clearly visible and not under the turkey. Bend the two wings back under the rear of the turkey.
4. If desired, push your hands underneath the turkey skin to loosen it. Place fresh herbs, such as thyme or sage, under the skin prior to cooking for added flavor.
5. Take the cool stuffing mixture that has already been prepared (be sure that it is about the same temperature as the turkey) and using hand fill the main cavity. Do not overstuff the turkey, as this will prevent it from cooking properly. Tie up the two legs to help hold the stuffing in the turkey during cooking. Note: Cook any extra stuffing in a covered dish for about an hour.
6. Spray roasting pan and rack with oil before putting the turkey on the pan. Cover the outside of the turkey with one stick of butter.
7. Spread butter over the entire surface of the turkey.
8. Cover the turkey completely in aluminum foil, making an airtight seam so that the turkey cooks seal tight in the pan.
9. Cook turkey for 3 ½ hours before checking the temperature of the meat. Remove foil covering for the last 230 minutes of cooking time and the turkey skin will brown.
10. Allow to sit for at least ½ hour, allowing enough time to use the pan juices to make gravy.

Note: Recommended Cooking Times:
8-12lb Turkey   3-3 ½ hrs
12-14lbs            3 ½ -4 hrs
14-18lbs            4-4 ½ hrs
18-20lbs            4 ¼ -4 ¾ hrs
20-24lbs           4 ¾ -5 ¼ hrs
Recipe courtesy of Julie Geary, Classic Cooks Catering, 2009


Julie Geary’s mother has been cooking Thanksgiving turkey this way for years and she loves it. This turkey is being cooked “in a bag” for most of the oven time, as it is wrapped air tight with aluminum foil. The foil is removed about ½ hour before the turkey comes out of the oven so the skin will brown. If desired, you can season the turkey by placing fresh thyme or sage under the skin. Other than that the recipe uses no other seasoning such as salt and pepper. It is also stuffed but be careful not to put the stuffing into the turkey unless it is cooled down.

Roasted Turkey with Stuffing
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