Simple Roast Turkey


Units Scale
  • 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.