American Dish · Holiday Recipes · International Recipe

Mama’s Roasted Turkey Recipe

Mama's Roasted Turkey Recipe
Mama’s Roasted Turkey Recipe

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.. Are you looking for the best Roasted Turkey Recipe? Don’t be boring..and try a new one. This recipe is definitely not tedious to do. Thanksgiving is not just turkey alone, this recipe is very easy so you can have more time to cook other dishes.

Im sharing some basic tips as well on how to achieve the juiciest turkey everybody loves. Remember to take time to make it early and prepare the other ingredients ahead of time. So you enjoy the process of cooking without any hassle. Happy Thanksgiving!

Selecting the turkey

Select a plump, well-fattened turkey, and find out whether it is a young or an old bird because this makes a difference in the way you cook it. For each person to be served, allow 3/4 to 1 pound in the weight of the turkey as you buy it. A 16-pound turkey makes about 20 generous servings.

Preparing the bird for roasting

In drawing the turkey, first cut the skin at the back of the neck, slip it down, and carefully remove the crop without tearing the outer skin. Then cut the neck off short, and save it for making broth to use in the gravy. Then make the cut across the lower part of the body no wider than necessary to draw the bird. Leave a band of skin and flesh under the tail so that the legs can be securely tucked in after the bird is stuffed. Save the giblets for the gravy. Cut off the oil sac on the top of the tail, and pull out the pin feathers with tweezers or a strawberry huller. Singe off the hairs over a flame quickly so as not to darken or scorch the skin.

If the bird was carefully drawn, you would only need to wipe out the body cavity with a soft cloth wrung out of cold water. Scrub the outside with a wet cloth.l or rinse off the outside quickly and wipe the bird dry outside and inside. Never let a turkey or any other poultry soak in water. You lose flavor and food value.

Stuffing and trussing

When you are ready to cook the turkey, rub the inside with salt, and fill the body cavity and the loose skin at the base of the neck with a hot savory stuffing. Slip the crusty end slice of a loaf of bread into the opening near the tail to hold in the stuffing, tuck the legs under the band of skin, and sew up the slit with soft white twine. Fold the neck skin toward the back and fasten down with a skewer or stitches. Fold the wing tips under the back, and tie them down if necessary, but be careful not to run string across the breast for it will leave marks on the brown surface.

Then rub the stuffed, trussed turkey all over with salt and butter, and pat it with flour. Place back up and breast down on a rack in an open roasting pan. Lay a piece of the turkey fat over the back. Do not put any water into the pan. Water in a roasting pan makes steam, and steam around a roasting turkey or any tender meat draws out the juices.

Mama’s Roasted Turkey Recipe


  • 15 pound fresh turkey
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dried sage
  • 1 ½ tablespoons crushed rosemary
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt (adjust as needed)
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of softened butter (or more)
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 apple, sliced and cored
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • Chestnut Sausage Stuffing, optional (recipe below)

You will need: cheesecloth


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Rinse turkey with cold water and remove gizzards and neck (reserve for broth). Pat the turkey dry. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the marinade: In a bowl, combine sage, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, olive oil and wine.
  4. Rub the marinade on the turkey including the underneath skin (lift it to let the marinade sink in everywhere).
  5. Spread one tablespoon butter underneath skin and then spread one tablespoon butter on top of skin. Tuck the wings underneath the bird.
  6. Stuff turkey cavity with slices of apple. Set aside.
  7. Add ¼ cup water to the remaining marinade in the bowl and soak the cheesecloth into the marinade. Transfer the soaked cheesecloth on top of the turkey and cover the turkey.
  8. Place the turkey in a roasting pan (breast down position) and add the remaining marinade, 1 cup of water, and quartered onions.
  9. Roast the turkey in the lowest part of the oven for about 4 hours (see roasting time chart below per turkey weight).
  10. For the 15lb turkey, start the cooking at 375°F for the first ½ hour. Then reduce the heat to 350°F for the next 2 hours. Then reduce the heat further to 225°F for the next hour to hour and a half.
  11. Make sure to baste turkey every 30 minutes to keep cheesecloth moist. Don’t worry about the cheesecloth turning black. It will protect the turkey skin from getting burned.
  12. Take off cheesecloth during the last 30-45 minutes in the oven.
  13. Insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. However, if you don’t have a thermometer, spear the breast with a knife. The turkey juices should be clear, not pink.
  14. Allow the turkey to sit for at least 20 minutes once done.
  15. Stuff afterwards with chestnut sausage stuffing. Add ½ hour roasting time for stuffed turkey.

Roasting Chart:
8-12 lbs: 2-3 hours
12-16 lbs: 3-4 hours
16-20 lbs 4-5 hours
20-24 lbs: 5-6 hours

Serving Chart:
12-15 lb turkey for 10-12 people
15-18 lb turkey for 14-16 people
18-22 lb turkey for 20-22 people

Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing Recipe


  • 1 pound italian sausage, loosened and break it apart (or any of your favorite sausage)
  • 1 bag Martin’s Potatobred Stuffing (340g)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced Spanish onion
  • 1 cup chopped roasted chestnuts
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • ¼ pound butter
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a pan, sauté sausage meat over medium-high heat and let it cook for about 6-8 minutes until cooked through.
  2. Then add butter, onions and celery. Let it cook for additional 5 minutes. Pour in stock and cook the vegetables until just al dente.
  3. Turn off heat and transfer the sautéed meat into a mixing bowl.
  4. Gradually fold in the bread stuffing, herbs, celery salt and cranberries. Break apart chestnuts by hand and mix it into the stuffing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking Note for Stock:
Use the turkey giblets, heart and neck to make a stock/broth. Chop up the turkey giblets (gizzard, heart). Transfer into a small saucepan, cover with water, add salt. Bring to simmer for an hour or so to help make stock for the stuffing.

Making Turkey Gravy:
Use all the turkey pan drippings and scrape off of the bottom of the roasting pan. Transfer drippings into a saucepan. Ladle off excess fat with a gravy spoon and save for possible use later. In a separate small bowl take ¼ cup of cornstarch and add just enough water to dissolve the cornstarch. Mix cornstarch with a fork to remove lumps. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the drippings, stirring constantly. You may not end up using all of the cornstarch mixture. Only add as much as you need to get the desired thickness. Allow time for the cornstarch to thicken the gravy. Add salt, pepper, sage, thyme, or other seasonings to taste and a tablespoon of soy sauce to add brown color to your gravy.