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This recipe makes the most beautifully browned, juiciest and flavorful turkey. And it's super easy to boot. It's inspired from the California Culinary Academy. Important!! This recipe only works well if you stuff the turkey. I didn't think that it would make a big difference, but when I baked a turkey and didn't stuff it a while back, It was way overcooked....not good. But this is great for a big stuffed bird. If I were serving this for a special occasion though, I would definately use a programmable thermometer... I got mine for around $15 at Meijers and I use it a LOT! So well worth the small investment. Insert the thermometor into the thickest part og the thigh and bring the temp to 165 to 170 degrees.
- 1 (12 -16 lb) whole turkey (any size)
- 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
- 1⁄4 cup kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Montreal chicken seasoning (a mixture of course salt, course ground pepper and garlic granules)
- prepared stuffing, your favorite
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- At least one night or up to two nights before cooking, season turkey inside and out with salt, garlic powder and poultry seasoning.
- Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate until day of cooking. This ensures that the bird is seasoned all the way through, like brining does, only better.
- On Turkey day, stuff turkey with your favorite stuffing recipe. Tie legs together and fold wings back behind themselves.
- Pat turkey dry, and rub olive oil all over bird. Sprinkle skin with Montreal Grill seasoning.
- Open up a large paper bag so the opening is facing you, and rub the inside bottom of the bag with a generous coating of butter.
- Turn bag over so butter is on top, and place bag in a pan on a rack.
- Cut a piece of aluminum foil to line the bottom of the bag. Crinkle it ip then spread it flat and spray with cooking spray to keep bird from sticking.
- Place turkey into the bag, fold opening of bag closed and staple shut.
- Place turkey into a COLD oven. (DO NOT PREHEAT!).
- Turn the heat to 500 degrees. and roast for exactly one hour.
- Tuen heat down to 400 Degrees, toast one hour longer.
- Turn heat down to 300 degrees and roast one additional hour.
- Remove turkey from oven. Total cooking time is 3 hours regardless of the size of the turkey.
- The bag will look and smell charred, but the butter keeps the bag from burning and the bird will be perfect.
- Tear away paper bag in pieces and let turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. But the longer rest, the better.
Easy and less stress for the "new" turkey maker! I have done the" in the bag turkey" for years. Use spray oil on the bag, easier. Also, cook at 225* overnight, you don't have the bag on fire fear as with the 500* oven. If you don't like to stuff your bird, placind hunks of apple, onion and celery inside cavity makes great flavor,whole cloves of garlic are perfect, remove it, squeeze garlic into a bowl. Use as spread for breads, add to mashed potatoes, green vegis...good! Only downside to this is a less fancy looking bird as it is steamed, so no golden skin.
I used this recipe for our 24lb turkey this Thanksgiving. I followed the original recipe instructions and the turkey came out great. Stuffed with apples, garlic and onion. No fire, no smoke. Pulled it out of the oven after three hours and thermometer read 165 degrees on the nose. Montreal Seasoning is a meat seasoning that is pretty common, we have used it for years. This recipe is much better than a plastic cooking bag, the meat at the bottom of the turkey wasnt full of grease from sitting in the juices. I also found it to be alot less of a mess since the juices can drain out of the bag while cooking.
My MIL taught me this method years ago, and I've never done it any other way since! PERFECTION every time, and really cuts down the hours in the oven. Only difference: being Southern, we don't "stuff" Mr. Bird---our "dressing" is baked in a separate pan. But N2S is right about needing something stuffed into the carcass for ideal results---so I chop celery, carrots, and onions into big chunks and put that in along with plenty of garlic cloves and shallots, all of which I discard after baking. This adds wonderful flavor to the drippings.