I used to be scared of cooking turkeys. They frightened me. They are big. They have the potential to transmit food-borne illnesses if cooked improperly. They are heavy. They are unattractive in their naked, uncooked form. I was intimidated.
That is, until my Aunt Marilyn pulled through with her incredible 2-hour turkey recipe/method. For the record, I’ve made this twice now (my Aunt has made it numerous times).
The first time I happened to set my oven on fire, but let’s not dwell on that, because the second time, this turkey was undeniably the juiciest, most tender, flavorful turkey I’ve ever had. No brining, no overnight bakes and soaks, just old-fashioned seasonings and a unique cooking method.
The name is a tad misleading because with oven preheating time included, it takes a bit longer than two hours, but the result is well worth it. It is the main attraction, after all, so it does deserve some extra TLC.
I’m no longer afraid of the Thanksgiving bird and I will never need another turkey recipe. This one’s a keeper. Oh, and the drippings make unbelievably delicious gravy.
Make Ahead Tip:
The only tip I’ll mention is to be sure and plan ahead for defrosting your turkey! The safest way to defrost a turkey is in the refrigerator. If your turkey is frozen, the best method to plan on is to place the turkey in the refrigerator and allow approximately 24 hours of defrosting for every 5 pounds of turkey. That means, plan ahead! If your turkey weighs 20 pounds, you’ll need four days of defrosting time.
*There is information, like this link, that recommends not using grocery store paper bags for cooking. If you are concerned about that, you can try a large oven bag, but I’ve never tried it and can’t attest to how it would work.
Here is a sideview of the roasting pan with the paper bag tucked INTO the sides. The paper bag should be greased with butter on both sides and tucked in like picture below. With my large roasting pan, I still had to trim about four or five inches off the side of the paper bag so it wasn’t too long to tuck in.