Classic Christmas Turkey Recipe

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Christmas in America is one of the most festive days in the land, and this Classic Christmas Turkey recipe is a traditional favorite. Be sure and get a fresh turkey. Plan ahead, go to your favorite butcher or meat market, and order in advance. Frozen turkeys cannot stand up to the flavor of a freshly butchered and dressed turkey.

Classic Christmas Turkey Recipe

(Photo Attributed to Author: TheKohser)

Classic Christmas Turkey Recipe-

  • freshly ground coarse sea salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add and stir in the juice of the lemon, the zest, and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves. Set aside for now.
  3. Take the giblets out of the turkey’s cavity, and wash the turkey well in fresh water, inside and out. Cut away any excess fat and look for any leftover pinfeathers – remove them if need be. Pat the outside dry with a kitchen cloth.
  4. Place the bird in a large roasting pan. Salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity generously. Stuff the cavity with the halved lemon, quartered onion, the bunch of thyme, and the garlic.
  5. Brush the outside of the turkey with the seasoned butter mixture; salt and pepper the entire bird to taste. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  6. Important! Many people don’t like the turkey breast, complaining it is too dry – they prefer the dark meat of the legs and thighs. To solve this, you want to cook the turkey with the breast side down, for the first 45 minutes to an hour. This way, lots of the juices from the back, legs, thighs and wings will settle down into the breast meat. Then, turn the turkey over, tuck the wings in, snuggled into the breast, and finish the roasting.
  7. Roast your turkey for about 2 1/2 hours, or approximately 15 minutes per pound. It is done when the juices run clear if you cut between the leg and the thigh.
  8. When finished roasting, remove the bird from the oven, take it out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Tent it with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. You have completed all of the steps in your Classic Christmas Turkey recipe! Slice the turkey and serve.

Note: This Classic Christmas Turkey recipe was taken from our Classic American Main Entrees pages. For many more delicious and traditional dishes like this, click here.

Contact us and/or Join Our Mailing List
(We respect your privacy. Subscribers’ info are not shared with anyone. EVER)


8 thoughts on “Classic Christmas Turkey Recipe

  1. The upside down idea is wonderful. So many people don’t like the turkey “white meat” because they say it tastes dry. I’m going to try this recipe for Christmas and surprise my dark meat loving family and friends, lol. Thanks!

  2. Love the idea of roasting the turkey upside down, I can see how that would work very well to make the breast meat jucier. Thanks for the tip!

  3. I like the looks of this recipe, the seasonings, and especially that breast-down juicy cooking thing. I’ll have to give this a try this Christmas.

  4. Oh wow – cook the bird upside down first! Makes total sense, what a great tip for roasting juicy turkey…..thanks for this, Marv!

    I assume this would work for all fowl, like chicken, duck, goose, right?

    • You are welcome, Barbara. Yes, the “upside down” technique works on all fowl, but the effect is the most dramatic on turkey, which has the least naturally juicy breast. Duck and goose, even chicken, though cooked this way will make the breast meat juicier than cookling them the normal breat side up way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.