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Roast Turkey

Hana Itzhaki
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Resting Time 15 mins
Course dinner, Main Course, Thanksgiving
Cuisine American, Thanksgiving


  • 4 9x13 Roasting Pans
  • Meat Thermometer


  • 12 Celery Stalks with Leaves
  • 4 Large Carrots peeled and halved
  • 4 Large Onions quarters
  • 2 Tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Rubbed Sage
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 6 Cups Water
  • 1 18-20 Pound Fresh Turkey cut into eighths


  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Divide vegetables evenly between the roasting pans.
  • Combine all the spices together in a bowl.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture to the vegetables in each roasting pan. Toss to evenly coat.
  • Add 1.5 cups of water to each pan.
  • Divide the turkey evenly between the roasting pans. Each turkey breast should take up an entire 9x13 inch pan. One thigh and one drumstick should fit together in the remaining two pans. (Freeze the wings for a future recipe. More on that coming soon!)
  • Divide the remaining spice mixture evenly (about 1 tablespoon) to season the turkey pieces on both sides. Leave pieces in the roasting pans skin side up.
  • Place the roasting pans in the preheated oven. After 30 minutes check for doneness in the thighs by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. When the temperature reaches 160 F (plus or minus 5 degrees) the turkey is done. Check the breast pieces for doneness after 45 minutes. Continue to check the temperature of the pieces every 15-20 minutes until the temperature reaches 160 F. The thighs and drumsticks should be done after 45 minutes to 1 hour and the breast pieces should be done after one and a half to an hour and 45 minutes.
  • Allow the turkey to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving and placing on a serving platter. Reserve the bones for soup!
  • Remove the carrots and onions from the roasting pans and onto a to a serving dish. (I prefer not to serve the celery as it becomes too soft during roasting. You can freeze it and add it to flavor broth. Recipe for that coming soon too!)
  • Strain the liquid from the roasting pans into a large bowl or pitcher. You should have 6-8 cups. Place in the refrigerator and allow the fat to rise to the top. If you leave it to chill overnight the fat will solidify and be easier to remove.
  • Remove the fat with a large spoon. Do not throw it away! Reserve it for frying potatoes in!
  • Reserve the remaining liquid to make gravy. Gravy recipe up next so stay tuned!
Keyword roast, thanksgiving, turkey