I have to confess that I wasn’t always the cook I am today. I grew up in a family of amazing cooks and never had to cook for myself. Dinners were always made lovingly by my parents or grandparents, aunts and uncles. There were a few years when we had a nanny who cooked for us too. In essence, I was a spoiled brat who never had to cook or clean. When I was in my twenties, my roommate laughed at me because she saw me making my bed and noticed that I was putting the fitted sheet over the box spring base! E-M-B-A-R-R-A-S-S-I-N-G! How was I to know?
Boy, was I in for a surprise when I married a farmer! Just kidding! I had to learn how to fend for my own when I moved out into the real world in my early twenties.
Now that I have a family of my own, for some reason it’s become my duty to always take care of the turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas for my side of the family. My first experience cooking a turkey was so daunting and stressful. We had invited both sides of the family over! My mother-in-law is a pro at cooking turkey and roasts, so I was pretty nervous of ruining the turkey dinner!
Luckily for me, a girlfriend of mine rang up her mom for her juiciest turkey recipe. She totally saved the day! To my surprise, the recipe only had TWO ingredients! A turkey and butter! Oh, and a paper bag!
Juiciest Turkey Ever
1 (12 -16 lb) whole turkey
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 paper bag (like a paper grocery bag)
- If you purchase a frozen turkey, follow the directions on the label regarding defrosting time. I find for the size I buy, it takes 2 days to defrost.
- Take your paper bag and cut it so that you can open it to tent over the turkey.
- Generously butter complete surface of one side of the paper bag. It will become shiny – that’s how you know you’ve buttered it enough).
- Place turkey in roasting/baking pan and tent the paper bag over the turkey, butter-side down.
- Place turkey in cold oven (Do Not Preheat)
- Turn heat to 500 and roast for 1 hr.
- Turn down to 400 degrees and roast for 1 hr.
- Turn down to 300 degrees and roast for another 1 hr.
- Total cooking time: 3 hrs. Remove turkey from oven.
- Remove paper bag and let turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
** REMEMBER** Butter the paper bag and not the turkey! The butter on the paper bag will prevent the turkey from burning and because the turkey is tented by the buttered paper bag, it will be juicy. Use drippings to make your homemade gravy!
This recipe was absolutely shocking to me for its simplicity. I’m used to bursts of flavour and spices (you’re talking to a Filipina-Caribbean-Chinese-Canadian here). What I love about this recipe is that it’s fool-proof and makes for a beautiful bird at the centre of the dinner table! The flavours are natural and delicious. Plus, with the homemade orange-cranberry sauce and homemade stuffing, you don’t want to compete with the flavours!
Look at it! So perfectly golden and it’s the juiciest turkey ever! Sometimes I like to do a dry rub with different herbs, but I always find this simple recipe to be the best.
Now for all our big family get togethers, I make the turkey and my mom cooks the ham. If we’re hosting, we do all the cooking and guests can bring wine or dessert.
Disclosure – I am a part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger Program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.