How to Roast a Turkey

While you can enjoy roast turkey and stuffing year-round, Thanksgiving is the traditional occasion for putting your knowledge of how to roast a turkey to the test for your family and friends. In fact, Thanksgiving turkey may be one of America's most beloved customs. A whopping 88 percent of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Foundation reported partaking in the traditional "Turkey Day" meal. The organization estimates that more than one-fifth of the millions of turkeys consumed each year in the United States is eaten on Thanksgiving Day-- that rounds out to about 46 million birds in 2009. Contrary to popular belief, we don't doze off after our big holiday meal because of the tryptophan in the turkey. Experts suspect the large meal in general--the turkey, the trimmings and all the sides--leaves people feeling ready for a nap. This classic roast turkey and stuffing recipe provides the perfect foundation around which to build a feast during the holidays or any time of year
-Hey everyone, I'm Judith with, and today, I'm gonna be showing you how to make a classic roast turkey with stuffing, the perfect turkey for your Thanksgiving Day. What you're gonna need for this 12 cups of dried bread cubes. We have 1-1/2 cups of sliced celery. We have 1 cup of chopped onion, 1/2 cup of butter, 1 cup of chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of fresh sage, which we've chopped up right here, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and we have skewer right here and 100% cotton kitchen string, which we'll be using later on our turkey. And right here, we have a 13-pound fresh turkey, beautiful turkey right here. So to get started, we're gonna get a large skillet on a medium heat and we're put in our butter and start preparing our stuffing because it's the one that's prepared before we do anything with our turkey. So let that melt there, and we're gonna get our onion and our celery and we're gonna fry that up until it's nice and tender about 3 minutes. So let's move on to our turkey right here. Now, we've got our turkey fresh. You can buy it frozen but make sure you thaw the whole turkey with enough time, and usually if you got his size of turkey, it will take about 2 days and so make sure you do that, but without fresh turkey right here, I have, I've removed the neck and the giblets of the turkey and I've washed the inside and patted it dry with paper towels. So now our turkey is ready to be stuffed and baked. So now, our onions and celery are nice and tender, we're gonna take it off the heat and we're gonna stir in our black pepper and our fresh sage. I love using fresh sage. It is just gonna give a really robust flavor to our turkey. So stir that into the mixture with all that beautiful herbs infused. So we're gonna get our bread cubes now. I'll put them in a large bowl. This is gonna be the base for our stuffing, and we're gonna add our celery-onion mixture into it. Perfect. So, what we're aiming for is a nice consistency to our stuffing, so most probably, we're gonna have to add in some of our kitchen broth until we get it to the consistency that we like. So let's just stir all these in together first, use your hands if need be. So, get all those flavors infused together. You know, some people like large stuffing. If you want a little bit more fine, you know, cut your bread a little bit smaller and your veges a little bit thinner. Perfect. And now, we're just gonna add enough chicken broth just to get to a nice moist consistency. So, you can go slowly, see how?? Okay. So now that our stuffing is done, we are ready to stuff our turkey so we're gonna start with the neck of our turkey. So we'll lift that up and use your hands, it's probably easier, and we're just gonna stuff it in there. Try not to overstuff because when you cook the turkey, it actually expands in the heat, so don't put too much in, but enough obviously. And what we want to do now is secure that neck, so we'll just turn it over so you can see. So this flabby part of the neck, we wanna secure with our skewer. So this is what we're using here. This might be a little bit tough because obviously the skin of the turkey when it's uncooked is tough, so just wanna pull it through the skin. Get it up there into the other side, get some muscle action going. Here we go, let it go through to the other side. Okay, go. And that should just about do it, so it secures the neck of the turkey. Now, let's work on the main body. So, we wanna stuff the remaining of our stuffing into there. So just work in batches. Get it all the way in. Don't be scared of Mr. Turkey. He's your friend in this process. So we're just gonna put our stuffing loosely inside the cavity. So we've got most of our stuffing in there now. We have a little bit remainder so if yo wanna bake the rest of that, you can throw it the casserole dish and bake it for about 45 minutes with your turkey, and that's it. So now it's time to tie the legs. We're gonna go tie it securely on each leg, do a little kind of round. Make sure that both kind of secure together. And we're just gonna make a knot at the bottom. And that's it. You know, it's really quite simple. A lot of people are very intimidated to roast your turkeys, but obviously, you know, it's a lot of trial and error, but it's not too bad once you get the hang of it and you know what you're doing. So we'll just gonna tie that up. That should be fine, we'll cut off any remaining string that we don't need, and we're gonna tuck in the wings to the back now. So now, we're gonna twist the wing tips under the back of the turkey, so it might take a little bit of a maneuvering, really twist it and we're gonna get it inside the back. There we go, underneath. Hopefully, your Turkey will work with you and the same on the other side, and there we are so, wing tips are now under the back of our turkey. So last but not the least, we're just gonna season this up before we put it in our roasting pan. So let's get our olive oil. We can just drizzle that. Use your hands or use a brush if you have it. And you just wanna make sure that you season the whole turkey with salt and pepper after this olive oil goes on. So now, our turkey is seasoned up. We can place it in our baking dish. Make sure to get kind of a shallow baking dish like so, and that is ready to go in the oven, so we'll preheat the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. We're gonna cover it loosely with aluminum foil and it's gonna go in there for 2-1/2 hours. We'll everyone, just look at this. We have taken our beautiful turkey out of the oven and look, lovely golden brown, full of flavor, stuffed with that gorgeous sage stuffing, and just smells and looks delicious. Now, about an hour before I took it out of the oven, I cut the strings from the legs and now we've let it rest for about 15 minutes, and so now, it is ready to slice up, serve it with your favorite vegetables, and mashed potatoes, a little bit of cranberry sauce, gravy, and that is one fantastic Thanksgiving meal. That's how you make your classic roast turkey with stuffing. Well, thanks for watching everyone. For more great recipes and savings, go to

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2  cups sliced celery (3 stalks)

  • 1   cup chopped onion (1 large)

  • 1/2  cup butter or margarine

  • 1   tablespoon snipped fresh sage or 1 tsp. poultry seasoning or ground sage

  • 1/2  teaspoon salt

  • 1/4  teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 12   cups dry bread cubes

  • 3/4 - 1   cup chicken broth

  • 1  10 - 12  pound turkey

  • 2   tablespoons olive oil

  •  Small red cooking apples (optional)

  •  Fresh herb sprigs (optional)

Step By Step

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. For stuffing, in a large skillet cook celery and onion in hot butter over medium heat for 3 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in sage and black pepper. Place dry bread cubes in a large bowl; add onion mixture. Drizzle with enough of the chicken broth to moisten, tossing lightly to combine.
Remove neck and giblets from the turkey. Rinse the inside of the turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Spoon some of the stuffing loosely into the neck cavity of the turkey. Pull the neck skin to the back; fasten with a skewer. Lightly spoon more stuffing into the body cavity. (Place any remaining stuffing in a casserole; cover and chill. If desired, for a moister stuffing, drizzle with additional broth. Bake stuffing in casserole alongside turkey about 45 minutes or until heated through.) Tie legs to tail with 100%-cotton kitchen string or tuck the ends of the drumsticks under the band of skin across the tail. Twist the wing tips under the back.
Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil; season with additional salt and pepper. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the center of one of the inside thigh muscles, making sure the bulb does not touch bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast turkey for 2-1/2 hours.
Cut the string or band of skin between the drumsticks so the thighs will cook evenly. Uncover; roast for 45 minutes to 1-1/4 hours more or until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F and an instant-read thermometer inserted in stuffing registers at least 165 degrees F. Remove turkey from oven. Cover; let stand for 15 minutes before carving. If desired, serve on a platter garnished with small apples and herb sprigs. Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Of course, once you know how to roast a turkey, the next big challenge will be what to do with the leftovers!

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 436, Fat, total (g) 22, chol. (mg) 123, sat. fat (g) 8, carb. (g) 20, fiber (g) 1, pro. (g) 40, sodium (mg) 425, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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