Let’s Talk Turkey


So, I made my first turkey and I did it before Thanksgiving so that if it turned out to not be a huge disaster, unlike a lot of things I have made lately,  I could tell you all about it.  Well, it turned out not to be a huge disaster and I actually give it a big thumbs up!  I’d also have to say that the aroma coming from my oven was the best I have ever smelled or probably will ever smell in my lifetime.

I decided not to cook the stuffing inside the turkey, so if you also don’t plan on doing that then this method will work great for you.  Oh, and I even got to use my “new” roasting pan/rack and gravy separator!  I say “new” because they have been in the original boxes since our wedding….ummmm… 3.5 years ago.  I was super excited to finally bust them out.  Am I getting really old if that kind of stuff is exciting to me?  Well, I am pushing 30 so the answer is probably “yes” to that question.  Speaking of which, I can’t wait for my huge NON-surprise party that someone is gonna throw me (hint hint to all my friends and family).  I made everyone promise to not throw me a surprise party – that would not make me a very happy birthday girl.  Anyways, that was a fun little tangent.  I’m always trying to steal every holiday’s thunder by focusing the attention on the number one ultimate holiday – my birthday 😉

So, if anyone is still working on putting together their menu (hello, procrastinators!) maybe you will try out this turkey roasting method.

Oh, and I would include the recipe I used for making the gravy, but um, that actually WAS a disaster…so I’ll leave you on your own for that.  Recipes for the side dishes, however, will be given to you very soon.

Thanksgiving Turkey stuffed with rosemary, sage, apple, onion and cinnamon stick.  Great for any holiday!

Thanksgiving Turkey stuffed with rosemary, sage, apple, onion and cinnamon stick.  Great for any holiday!


1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen turkey

For the aromatics:

1 red apple, sliced in large pieces
1/2 onion, sliced in large pieces
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil, for rubbing outside


2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.  Remove innards once thawed and rinse inside and out with cold water.

Place the turkey on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan or in a roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.  This will make the skin crisp up and brown nicely.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 165 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of about 2 1/2 hours of roasting.  Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil for 15-30 minutes before carving.  This will lock in the juices and keep the meat moist.



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These are a few of my favorite things: cooking, baking, Broadway musicals, cruises, Disney World, Christmas, thunderstorms, 80's and country music, and my favorite pastime has ALWAYS been baseball. Go Yankees!

11 Responses to “Let’s Talk Turkey”

  1. November 18, 2012 at 2:22 PM #

    Congrats on cooking a turkey and having such an awesome result. You must be thrilled. I’m sure with the aromatics that aroma from your kitchen would have been amazing xx

    • November 18, 2012 at 3:06 PM #

      Thanks! It was fun!

  2. November 19, 2012 at 6:20 AM #

    gorgeous! congrats on cooking your first turkey! have a fabulous thanksgiving, girl!

    • November 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM #

      Thanks! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving as well!

  3. November 19, 2012 at 9:34 AM #

    I’m so impressed. I’m terrified of making a whole turkey and you did an amazing job! You are gonna have a great Thanksgiving!

    • November 19, 2012 at 12:56 PM #

      Thanks, Kayle! I was terrified, too, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be 🙂

  4. November 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM #

    Eek! I’m making my first turkey this Christmas and I’m SO nervous/excited! But if mine looks half as good as this looks, I’ll be happy 🙂 this looks wonderful and I’m super impressed, Ashley!

    • November 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM #

      Thanks, Hayley! I thought it would be a complete disaster so I was happy that it turned out good 🙂

  5. November 19, 2012 at 11:44 AM #

    CONGRATS on the beautiful turkey! Also, I always go separate pan with the stuffing–you just can’t fit nearly as much inside the bird as I want to eat!

    • November 25, 2012 at 5:15 PM #

      Thanks, Erin! I agree – not much stuffing really fits in a turkey!


  1. Slow Cooker Turkey Breast | Wishes and Dishes - November 19, 2014

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