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Making the perfect turkey this Thanksgiving

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Do your roasted turkeys turn out dry, undercooked, or chewy?

Mine have been all of the above!

"When you're cooking a protein of this size, the outside will be cooked the inside will be raw but by the time the inside is cooked the outside will be dry and over cooked," said Alex Lozano a teaching assistant with The Hospitality College at Johnson and Wales University.

Cooking a turkey takes a lot of time, several hours in fact.

But that's why Lozano starts prepping days before the big holiday.

First he thaws out his bird for several days in the fridge.

Once the turkey is thawed add your seasoning.

"I'll remove the skin from it," said Lozano. 

"Pull the skin away from the meat and then I'll put herb butter in there. And this is just an herb butter of rosemary sage, thyme, salt."

Layer the outside the turkey with the same spread.

Lozano then stuffed the cavity with fresh herbs orange slices for flavor.

Sprinkle with salt for taste.

For a perfect plump turkey tuck its legs into the skin with butchers twine.

Now place it in a roasting pan.

"I raise it up and I use vegetables," said Lozano.

"It's more of an aromatic thing."

For extra flavor use stock to baste.

"You can use an injector and inject it with brine, stock, olive oil," added Lozano.

Finally cook it low and slow at 270 to 300 degrees.

In several hours you should have a plate of mouthwatering turkey on your holiday table with more than enough for leftovers.

 Herb Roasted Turkey

Cook time: 4-4.5 hours Serving Size: 1 (12lb) Turkey

  • 1(12lb) Whole Turkey
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 sticks  butter (Softened to room temperature )
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 1 bunch thyme

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Clean turkey (discard giblets and organs), and place in a roasting pan with a lid.
  2. Chop the sage, rosemary, and thyme. In a small bowl, combine the butter, chopped herbs, and salt to taste. Distribute the butter between the two breasts placing it under the skin.  
  3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic powder, dried basil, ground sage, salt, and black pepper. Using a basting brush, apply the mixture to the outside of the uncooked turkey. Pour water into the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover.
  4. Bake for 4 to 4 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh measures 170 degrees F. Remove bird from oven, and allow to stand for about 30 minutes before carving.

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