I remember the very first time I cooked a Thanksgiving dinner. My husband and I lived in Philadelphia, PA, and were unable to return back home to North Carolina for Thanksgiving (we opted to do a longer visit for Christmas rather than fight the ten hour drive for just a couple of days).
I had no clue what type of turkey to buy, how to prepare it, how long to cook it, what to serve with it, etc. So I did what every mature, grown married woman does—I called Mom!
My Mom calmed me down and told me to take a deep breath. Then she gave me her ingredients for a simple but perfect turkey. This is where it shocked me because there were only five ingredients, including the turkey. Four of them were herbs and spices!
I said to my mom, “Are you just trying to make me feel better by leaving out the rest of the ingredients so I don’t become overwhelmed?”
She assured me that she used this recipe every year. I grew up with four sisters and one brother, and this recipe appealed to all of our taste buds.
In addition, she told me that the leftovers were perfect for sandwiches and school lunches.
I’m happy to pass it on to all of you, especially those who have been assigned “turkey duty” this year!
Roasted Rosemary Turkey Recipe:
1 Turkey Breast (if you love leftovers, purchase a larger turkey)
1 Tbs. Salt
1 Tbs. Pepper
1 Tbs Garlic Powder
3 Tbs dried Rosemary
Tin Foil Roasting Pan large enough for your turkey (not a necessity, but it makes clean up easy).
1. Pre heat over at 325 degrees.
2. Spray the roasting pan with a non stick cooking spray.
3. Rinse the turkey with cold water.
4. Place in pan, skin side up.
5. Season the turkey with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary. I like to start out with a little of the seasonings, and gradually increase. It helps prevent over seasoning. But, if you do accidently spill half the garlic powder, just wet a paper towel, and dab it up.
6. Turn turkey over, so that skin side is down.
7. You can add slices of butter in the folds of the turkey if desired.
8. Pour about ¾ cup of water around the bottom of the pan.
9. Cover with tin foil (you can use two pieces of tin foil if needed, or one large piece, depending on the size of your tin foil).
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) suggests the cooking time of 1 ½ to 3 ¼ hours for a 4 to 8 pound breast.
Tips for this recipe:
Many turkeys come with pop up timers, which are an excellent way to be sure your turkey is cooked thoroughly.
I like to let my turkey ‘rest’ for about ten minutes before removing the foil.
While there are many ways to season and cook turkeys, this is perfect for a family with a wide variety of tastes. By cooking a delicious, but not overly seasoned turkey, we can add our favorite gravies, stuffing, cranberries, etc. to the moist turkey breast.
Some ideas for turkey leftovers:
-Lunch box (great change from jelly sandwiches)
-Freezer meals—you’ll have cooked fresh turkey ready in minutes to add to your favorite recipes.
-The old favorite: Turkey sandwiches! (For a nice change, try a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich)
A funny last note on this recipe:
I prepared the turkey just like the recipe above. I put it in the 325 degree oven. An hour later, I became a little worried I didn’t smell the turkey that I had so excitedly prepared. I opened up the oven to find…the oven was broken!
We had a good laugh, made some last minute reservations, and ended up having a wonderful Thanksgiving meal together.
The oven was fixed two weeks later, and I cooked our first rosemary, roasted turkey that has since become our favorite!