Classic Roast Turkey

Roast turkey is the icon of the holiday dinner table. If you begin with a good-quality bird, prep is minimal—but timing is everything. When deciding what size turkey to buy, the general rule of thumb is 1.5–2 pounds per person (this includes bone and shrinkage as it roasts).

Chef’s Tip: If you’re skipping the stuffing, fill the turkey up with lemons and fresh herbs to keep it moist and flavourful.

  • By Julie van Rosendaal
  • December 1, 2014
Image Author: Clinton Hussey



    Preheat the oven to 325ºF. If you’re stuffing the turkey, spoon it loosely into the cavity; otherwise tuck in a halved lemon, a few garlic cloves and/or a handful of fresh herbs.

    Place turkey breast-side-up on a rack (if you have one) in a roasting pan and pat dry with paper towel. Rub skin all over with soft butter or canola or olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Cover bird loosely with foil and roast for 15 minutes per pound (30 minutes per kilogram); slightly less for an unstuffed turkey. If basting your turkey (it’s not necessary), make sure to open the oven door no more than once per hour.

    Remove foil about halfway through, and begin checking for doneness about an hour before the end. Your turkey is ready when a meat thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reads 180ºF for a stuffed turkey or 170ºF for an unstuffed turkey.

    Transfer bird to a platter and remove stuffing, spooning it into an oven-proof dish; cover stuffing with foil and place in the hot oven while turkey rests. (This will also ensure it’s sufficiently heated through.)

    Cover turkey with foil and let stand for 20 minutes before carving. Serves as many as you’d like.

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