Nine days and counting till Thanksgiving. While I’m sure there are many things on your mind and to do list, I wonder what your plan is for main event…the turkey?

Last week I shared some tips for one of my favorite methods, brining. While this method tends to be better for beginners, simply because it allows for a margin of error, it also gives the bird wonderful flavor and moisture.

This week I’ve decided to go back to basics with a Simple Roast. This method is more for the purist, and like its name is quite simple due to the short amount of prep time and ingredients needed. A simple roast calls for a few different vegetables and your choice of simple herb(s). All ingredients can be found in the everyday cook’s fridge and spice rack. The big picture is basting the turkey with olive oil and stuffing with vegetables and herbs. This of course means that you will need to make your stuffing on the side, but as we will talk about in the next blog, I don’t recommend stuffing the turkey to begin with.

Simple Roast Tips

  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper
  • Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the turkey
  • Stuff the bird with chopped vegetables of your choice, including: onions, carrots, and celery
  • Stuff the bird with herbs of your choice, including: rosemary, sage, and/or thyme
  • Tie the legs together to close
  • Rub the outside of the turkey with olive oil (about ¼ cup)
  • Add extra vegetables to the roasting pan

I don’t baste my bird, because continuously opening and closing the oven will delay cooking time for the turkey. Contrary to popular belief, the turkey does not need to be basted constantly for it to turn out flavorful and juicy. Simply rubbing the outside with olive oil before baking will help the bird to brown and add flavor.

The other important tip is to scatter additional chopped vegetables on the bottom of the roasting pan. This adds extra flavor to the pan juices. Like any other turkey, roast until the thickest part of the bird measures 165°F-170°F and allow it to rest for 30 minutes before slicing.

Remember, a simple roast is just as it sounds – simple and flavorful. It’s the way to go if you want a more classic turkey or are short on time this Thanksgiving. Stay tuned as I share more turkey prep ideas and even side dish tips, as we count down to November 28th.



For more information on brining a turkey see: Thanksgiving Turkey Tips: Brining