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Thanksgiving Turkey

Serves 20 | Total Cook Time: 4 hours

Thanksgiving Turkey


1 - 18-20 pound, pre-brined turkey

Kosher salt

Black pepper

1 lemon, quartered

1 onion, quartered

1 head of garlic, sliced in half lengthwise

1 stalk of celery, cut in half

1 carrot, cut in half

1 bunch of thyme

1.5 sticks of unsalted butter, softened

Zest of 1 lemon

1 bunch of thyme

Kosher Salt

Black pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 425°.
  2. Start by removing the giblets out of the turkey and save for the gravy! Wash your bird thoroughly and dry the bird entirely. The butter will be impossible to stick if it's still wet. Tuck the wings underneath the bird, and tie the legs together with twine. Liberally salt and pepper the cavity and outside of the turkey and then stuff onion, lemon, garlic, celery, carrot and fresh thyme into the cavity of the bird.
  3. Combine your softened butter with the zest of 1 lemon, thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Spread your butter mixture all over and make sure to place under the skin of the bird. That will ensure all of that flavor melts into the meat.
  4. Place your turkey on a large roasting pan and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Watch the exterior of the turkey at this point to make sure it doesn't get too dark. When it turns a beautiful golden color, turn the heat down to 325°, and cook for an additional 3.5 hours. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer at 3 hours. Once it registers 165-170° on the breast and 180° on the thigh, take the bird out of the oven and cover with tin foil for at least 30 minutes. If any any point the legs or wings are getting too brown, cover with foil in the oven.
  5. Once it's rested for minimum of 30 minutes (or max an hour or two), carve it up and enjoy!

Notes from the Chef