Perfect Roast Turkey

We’ve been using Martha Stewart’s basic recipe for years and it’s been a huge hit every time. With a piece of cheesecloth, some white wine and butter, you can make a perfect juicy turkey with a dark mahogany skin that’ll have your guests begging for more. Count on 20 minutes per pound to estimate total cooking time


  • 1 Large Turkey , preferably fresh (plan on 1.5 pounds of turkey per person)
  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter , melted
  • 2 Cups Dry white wine or 2 full wine glasses
  • 1 piece cheesecloth , doubled and large enough to cover the entire turkey breast & leg
  • 1 Generous pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 Generous pinch Black Pepper
  • 1 Small paint brush

prep / directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Discard any innards from the turkey cavity, saving if you wish to make the gravy. Rinse the turkey under cool water and pat dry thoroughly. Place the turkey in a casserole or roasting pan large enough to hold it comfortably and leave out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan under low heat. Add the white wine, salt and pepper, and prepare the double layer piece of cheesecloth. If you’re stuffing the turkey, do it now just before placing it in the oven. Then immerse the cheesecloth in the wine-butter mixture, and then lift out slowly while squeezing it slightly to cover the entire breast of the turkey and some of the leg. Place the roasting pan in the oven with the turkey legs first if possible. Let turkey cook at high heat for first 30 minutes. Then, using the brush, baste the cheesecloth and exposed parts of the bird with the wine-butter mixture. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and cook for another 2.5 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the wine-butter mixture. After this third hour of cooking, carefully lift the cheesecloth away from the breast, trying not to tear any of the skin. Continue cooking the turkey but baste with the pan juices or a combination of the juices and wine-butter mixture every 30 minutes. Watch for the pop up thermometer to pop, or insert your own instant read instrument in the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 180 degrees when the bird is done. At this point, remove pan from the oven and place the turkey on a large platter. Cover it tightly with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes so all the juices resettle. To make quick gravy, spoon off some of the fat which rises to the top of the roasting pan. Place pan on the stove over medium low heat. Add some of the leftover wine-butter mixture and scrape up all the drippings that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add a sprinkle of flour to thicken if you wish, mix well to blend and keep stirring all the juices to reduce slightly and blend well. Keep warm until the last minute when you’re ready to serve, or heat up in the microwave. Slice the turkey and serve on a nice platter. Garnish with sliced oranges for a little festive color.

Log in or register to post comments