Quick Roast Turkey

Roast Turkey

Why Quick Roast Turkey? Roasting a turkey at the typical 325°F takes forever, and it ties up the oven right when it needs to be free for the rest of the meal. All those hours under heat take their toll, and you’ll frequently find yourself apologizing to everyone with “Well… I think the breast turned out a little dry.”

But at 375°F, it is a completely different story. The bird gets crispy on the outside but remains moist on the inside because the roasting is done in half the time. It is so fast and easy you’ll wonder why you ever did it any other way.

For the most attractive presentation, select a bird with the breast skin intact, so that it completely covers the breast meat.

  • QUICK ROAST TURKEY
  • Servings: 15
  • Time: 2hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: Moderate
WHAT YOU NEED WHAT TO DO WHY
  • 1 (15 pound) frozen turkey
If frozen, place in a big, shallow bowl, breast side up, in original packaging. Defrost in the refrigerator until all areas feel soft. Plan on 1 day per 3 pounds. Breast side down deforms.
Refrigerator defrosting is safe.
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 celery stalks/ribs, chopped
Prepare aromatics. Place a rack in the lower part of the oven. The goal is to center the roasting pan vertically in the oven. Start preheating to 375°F “Convection” (verify with an oven thermometer). These aromatics add moisture to the environment. Others, such as rosemary or thyme, may also be added.
Ovens often run hot or cold or preheat slowly.
  • Square of foil

  • Note: If a brine is required, dissolve 2-4 tablespoons salt with a bowl of cool tap water
Place turkey (and bowl) in the sink; remove packaging. Extract giblets (liver, heart, gizzard, neck) from the body and neck cavities; discard packaging and place on foil. If limbs are not moving freely, prepare brine and soak turkey 10-20 minutes to finish defrosting. Drain turkey thoroughly. Place breast side up and stuff with aromatics; dry the exterior with paper towels. A bowl protects the turkey from sink bacteria and brining promotes even roasting. Drying the skin promotes wet rub adhesion.
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
For the wet rub, in a small bowl, swirl all together with your fingers. Massage evenly over entire bird exterior, even in the skin folds. Coat giblets; bring the foil up and fold the seams to create a tightly sealed packet.

 

Note: If making Turkey Gravy or Turkey Dressing, set neck aside instead of including in the packet.

Oil based “wet rubs” reduce dehydration during roasting. An even application of rub promotes even browning. A tightly sealed packet holds in giblet aromas/flavors.
  • Oven-safe kitchen twine
Place the bird on a rack set inside a 12×15-inch roasting pan. Stuff the inside of the bird with the aromatics. Tuck in tail and tie ankles tightly together with kitchen twine. Place foil packet under the tail. If there is insufficient room in the pan, place the packet in a little pan that fits in the oven next to the big roasting pan. The packet is out of the way under the tail, and it helps stabilize the bird.
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 2-3 toothpicks
Rotate wing tips up; tuck behind shoulders. Place onion, rounded side out, in the neck cavity. Fold neck flap over, tuck under shoulders; secure with 2 toothpicks. If breast flesh is exposed, pull the skin to cover; secure with a toothpick. Insert barbecue thermometer probe (long probe and cord, digital display) parallel to breast bone taking care to avoid touching any bones. Tucking wings prevents burnt tips. An onion in the neck cavity reduces breast dehydration and improves appearance. Bones transfers heat, creating falsely high meat temperature readings.
  • 1 quart water
  • 24×30-inch rectangle of foil (if the pan has no lid)
Add water to pan; cover with roasting pan lid or with a tent of foil, leaving air space all around the bird. If using foil, crimp tightly around pan edge to seal. Center on oven rack; roast until breast meat registers 150°F (70-90 minutes). A tight seal holds in essential moisture during the bulk of the roasting, which promotes a plump, juicy bird.
  Remove lid, or extract foil with tongs. Continue roasting until evenly amber, and breast meat registers 155°F (10-15 minutes); promptly remove from oven. Cover with the lid, or reuse foil to tightly tent roasting pan; cover with a thick towel to hold in heat while temperature cruises to 165°F. For a table presentation, promptly move to a platter with dressing spooned all around. 165°F kills bacteria and relaxes connective tissue, but above 165°F dry breast meat. The bird unattractively shrinks if it sits beyond the first rest.

QUICK ROAST TURKEY CARVING: Carve turkey right inside the roasting pan while still warm and easy to manipulate. Starting with the thighs, drumsticks, and wings, gently pull limbs away from the body, running a thin boning knife along bones and joints to separate. Carve off slabs of thigh meat, but leave drumsticks and wings intact. Next, face the neck cavity towards you and run the knife along each breastbone to remove slabs of breast meat. Slice breast and thigh meat across the grain at a 45 degree angle; arrange in an oven safe dish by meat type (white, dark, drumsticks). Drizzle with 1 cup Turkey Stock (see below) and cover tightly.

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Easy, easy, easy. No more stress about making the turkey!