Simple Roast Turkey

An easy recipe for moist and tender Simple Roast Turkey.


One week from today let the carving begin.

I love Thanksgiving.  Not just for the food, but for the memories and traditions.  When I was young I remember Thanksgiving morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  Now, I am sharing that tradition with my kids.  It’s very special.  I enjoy watching the parade before the family arrives and the hustle and bustle of dinner prep begins.   I also love the way the house smells with the turkey roasting in the oven.  Family, traditions and blessings, this is what Thanksgiving is about.

I have to give credit to Mr. Mother Thyme for the Thanksgiving turkey.  It is, and always has been his contribution to Thanksgiving dinner.  It always receives rave reviews, and I can see why.  It is one mighty good turkey.  The turkey is so juicy, it just melts in your mouth. 

His secret?  Cheesecloth. 

He mumifies the turkey as he likes to call it.  The first time he did it I thought he was crazy, but the man knows how to cook a good turkey. 

The cheesecloth is soaked in a seasoned broth and placed on the turkey, which can be prepared the night before.  The turkey cooks for the first couple hours with the cheesecloth.  It really helps in keeping the turkey moist along with plenty of basting.  Once the turkey is cooked thoroughly and you let it rest to retain its juices, you will carve into a delicious turkey that will be a hit at your Thanksgiving feast. 


Simple Roast Turkey

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings


  • 1214 pound turkey, fresh or frozen and thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 23 garlic cloves, minced
  • 32 ounce low sodium turkey or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 9 foot cheesecloth cut into thirds


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Add garlic and cook for a minute longer.
  3. Stir in broth, parsley, thyme, rosemary sprig and bay leaf. Bring to a low boil then reduce to a simmer. Add cheesecloth and allow to soak for 20-30 minutes for flavor to infuse. Remove from heat to allow to cool slightly.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set the oven rack to the lowest level.
  5. Thoroughly rinse and clean turkey and pat dry.
  6. Place turkey on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan.
  7. Use toothpicks or skewers to hold wings back.
  8. Stuff turkey if desired and tie legs togther with twine.
  9. Rub turkey with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  10. When cheesecloth is cool to touch, remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Remove cheesecloth from the broth and lay cheesecloth strips on turkey, slightly overlapping strips, covering the entire top of the turkey.
  11. Pour remaining broth on top of cheesecloth allowing the broth to fall into the roasting pan. This broth will be used for basting.
  12. Cover roasting pan with foil and place in the oven for 1 hour, basting turkey every 30 minutes.
  13. Remove foil and continue to cook, basting every 30 minutes for 1 1/2 hours.
  14. Carefully remove cheesecloth, baste and continue to cook for another 1-2 hours basting every 30 minutes until meat themometer reaches 180 degrees.
  15. Remove turkey from oven, loosely tent with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
  16. Use pan juices for gravy if desired.
  17. Place turkey on platter, carve as desired.


Turkey can be prepped the night before with cheesecloth and placed in the refrigerator which allows the turkey to marinate even longer. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before placing in the oven. If you serve a 20-24 pound turkey, just double the recipe.

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One Comment

  1. This recipe look so yummy. I will definitely try to make this tyrkey for coming holidays. Thank you for excellent idea.

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