Super Moist Roasted Turkey. Breast Down!
This simple twist on Roast Turkey 101 will produce a Moist & Juicy platter of tender meat that you will actually be able to eat.
Roasting the turkey 'breast down' is ideal for bariatric eating as all of the juices from the fattier dark meat continuously baste the breast meat while roasting - the white meat is protected from harsh heat while the dark meat is exposed and cooked at a higher temperature. The reality is that it will be the best turkey that you have ever served!
Find that giant platter that you never use - you will need it for your amazing yet easy presentation as when you cook your turkey this way, you serve it carved from the kitchen. Get ready for 'Ooooo's & Ahhhhh's' from guests as if Martha Stewart had cooked their meal.
- 12 to 15 pound fresh turkey
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 apple cut into wedges
- 2 carrots, sliced
- Sprigs of fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary - they often have a poultry mix of fresh herbs
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Arrange the cut vegetables and apple slices in the bottom of a sturdy roasting pan and scatter the fresh herb sprigs over the top.
- Place the turkey breast side down on the vegetables as a bed to hold up the turkey and to catch all the delicious drippings for the gravy.
- Season the turkey with salt and pepper.
- Estimate cooking time for your turkey at about 15 minutes per pound. Roast for 1/2 hour at 400 F, then reduce the heat to 300 F and continue roasting until done. Thirty minutes before the turkey should be done as per your estimate, start taking temperature readings with a meat thermometer, inserted deep into the thickest part of the thigh.
- Remove from oven when the dark meat in the thigh registers 170 F. The temperature will continue to increase to 175 F once you remove it from the oven as the heat continues to cook the turkey.
- Allow the turkey to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Turn the turkey breast side up and discard the skin as it will not be crisp.
- Carve as desired. I recommend removing each breast half in one piece and slicing crosswise as is illustrated in my photo.
- Arrange the meat attractively on the platter as this is your show stopping Thanksgiving presentation.
- Pour your roasting pan drippings into a large wire strainer set over a large bowl and press down on the warm soft vegetable solids to extract all that flavor and goodness.
- Skim off as much fat as possible.
- Use as is, or bring to a boil and thicken using 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 water for each 3 cups pan juices - using chicken stock if needed.