Today I’m showing you how to Roast & Garnish a 12-Pound Turkey!

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I recently made a turkey the old-fashioned way. (Roasted, rather than brining or putting in a bag.)

I stuffed it with veggies, fresh herbs, and a little citrus. Seasoned it well, rubbed it down with butter (and a quick spray of Pam), and popped it in the oven.

I asked my family, why don’t we have turkey more often?

I always forget how easy it is, and then how we get to benefit from turkey leftovers. Yum!

This is what I love about having an herb trough. I don’t have to think ahead to buying fresh herbs (holiday cooking is FULL of fresh herbs).

BUT … before I show you more about the bird, PLEASE COME BACK TOMORROW this to WIN these fantastic items for your Holiday Entertaining. Here’s a SNEAK PREVIEW:

Back to the bird …

This time I snipped sage, thyme, and even basil from the bed.

Here’s how I made my 12-pound turkey:

-Heat the oven to 375. Remove the wrapping from the turkey, discard the giblets (and neck, if you prefer), rinse the turkey and pat down.

-Stuff the turkey with onions, celery, carrot, lemon and fresh herbs. Also mix together salt and pepper and rub on the inside. Whatever you can fill the cavity with.

-It’s recommended that you tie the turkey together with kitchen twine, tucking it under the bird. (But guess what? I ran out of twine and it worked out fine with no twine).

-Rub the turkey all over with butter and season with salt. If you want, give a quick spray with Pam Spray.

-Place veggies such as carrots, onion, celery (and the turkey neck, if you saved it) on the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the rack on top with the turkey on the rack.

-Roast the turkey, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes to create even browning. (12 pound bird takes about 3 1/2 hours.)

-If the turkey starts to darken, and you still have quite a bit of cooking time, tent it loosely with foil.

Don’t forget to save the juices for gravy!

When ready to serve, there are several options for displaying it:

– Leave the turkey whole as a “centerpiece” until everyone sits down and grace has been said. (One person will have to hop up and slice the turkey while the other dishes are being served.)

– Add fresh fruit such as apples, oranges, lemons, limes – and a variety of fresh herbs around the outer edge of the platter.

– Slice the turkey, but still garnish beautifully with fresh fruit and herbs.

Kitchen TIP: Here’s how to keep the turkey moist and WARM, if you’re slicing the turkey in advance. After the turkey is sliced, just before bringing the platter to the table (or buffet), drizzle the turkey with HOT chicken broth. Just a little bit, to moisten and heat up the meat.

How will you be cooking your turkey this year — the old-fashioned way, brining it, or using a bag?

(Photo credit: Cookin’ Canuck.)

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How to Roast & Garnish a 12-Pound Turkey

Ingredients

  • 1 12- pound turkey, thawed if frozen
  • Fresh thyme, rosemary, sage
  • 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 carrots, cut in 2″ chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in 2″ chunks
  • Salt, pepper, onion salt
  • Oranges and lemons

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 375. Remove the wrapping from the turkey, discard the giblets (and neck, if you prefer), rinse the turkey and pat down.
  • Stuff the turkey with onions, celery, carrot, lemon and fresh herbs. Also mix together salt and pepper and rub on the inside. Whatever you can fill the cavity with.
  • Tie the turkey together with kitchen twine, and tuck under the bird.
  • Rub the turkey all over with butter and season with salt. Give a quick spray with Pam Spray.
  • Place remaining carrots, onion, celery (and the turkey neck, if you saved it) on the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the rack on top with the turkey on the rack.
  • Roast the turkey, basting every 30 minutes to create even browning, with pan juices.
  • If the turkey starts to darken, and you still have quite a bit of cooking time, tent it loosely with foil.
  • Roast until the thickest part of the thigh is 165 degrees.
  • Transfer it to a carving board and let rest for 25 minutes.
  • You may choose to leave it whole. Add fresh fruit such as apples, oranges, lemons, limes – and a variety of fresh herbs around the outer edge of the platter. If you slice the turkey, garnish beautifully with fresh fruit and herbs.
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Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

My friend’s expert advice on how to cook a BIRD:

Step by Step: Roasted Turkey from The Pioneer Woman
Crash Course on Roasting a Turkey at Simple Bites
How to Roast a Brined Turkey at Skinny Taste
Flat Roasted Turkey from Miss in the Kitchen
Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey from She Wears Many Hats
Turkey Roasting Tips from Good Life Eats
Herb Roasted Turkey from Sweet Savory Life
Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter and Roasted Shallots from Cookin’ Canuck (Photo credit of turkey above recipe is also from Dara.)

To keep you on track to a stress-free Thanksgiving:
Week 1: Invite, Plan, and Delegate
Week 2: Organize your Shopping Lists
Week 3: Space, Table, and Turkey Planning

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