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Incredible 2-Hour Turkey & Other Thanksgiving Ideas

This recipe turned out the juiciest turkey I’ve ever had, including my Mother’s incredible brined turkey.  It has wonderful flavor and I love that it only requires two hours of roasting.

If you are looking for any other last minute Thanksgiving Day recipe ideas, continue below the recipe for a few I have on my blog.

Incredible 2-Hour Turkey

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (18-22 pound*) turkey
Carrots, celery (cut into large chunks), onion (peeled and cut into large chunks), garlic cloves (peeled and smashed)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
Butter
Brown paper bag

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Meanwhile, remove giblets and neck and wash the turkey. Fill the cavity of the turkey with carrots, celery, garlic and onion. Combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning in a small bowl. With your hands, rub the entire turkey with the lemon juice mixture.

Place the turkey breast down (this is opposite of how a turkey is normally cooked – so just flip the turkey upside down) in a large roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the hot oven for as many minutes as the turkey weighs (ie. 19 lb. turkey = 19 minutes). Bake for the allotted time.

Meanwhile, grease a large brown paper bag with butter on both sides. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and carefully (because the turkey and roasting pan are HOT) make a tent out of the paper bag and drape it over the turkey, taking care to tuck the sides of the bag into the roasting pan (otherwise, the butter will drip off the bag, leap onto the oven burner and possibly create a large fire.). Turn the oven down to 400 degrees and cook the turkey for two hours.

Remove the roasting pan and turkey from the oven and let turkey sit for 20 minutes. Remove turkey from the roasting pan and pour the drippings into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil. Make a slurry from flour and water (to the consistency of thick, heavy cream) and add to the drippings until desired consistency is reached.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil.  Boil for a minute, still stirring constantly, until thickened.  Serve over the turkey.

*I used a 13 pound turkey and cut the cooking time down by 15 minutes. Perfect!

Recipe source: My Kitchen Cafe

More Thanksgiving ideas:

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Killer Cranberry Sauce

Incredible Dinner Rolls (bread machine)

Italian Green Beans

Sunny Vegetable Salad
Marissa’s Good Peas

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing (come on, eat some salad! It will make you feel less guilty about the pie.)

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes

Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

15 responses »

  1. Glad this turkey turned out such great results, Veronica! Your pictures of it on the plate look juicy and delicious.

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  2. You have an awesome collection of recipes here! Love the pictures!

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  3. How is this brined, i was looking for the brine recipe..
    I am soaking the 22 lb’er for the job in brine for 4 days.. mine is smaller but still frozen solid, so i can place that in there as the ice, to keep it cold.. i like the butter on the bag idea, i might just have to try that with the giant one!

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    • There is no brining here. I just mentioned that it’s as juicy as my Mom’s brined turkey. I think the flavor of brined turkey is the best–next I would like to try brining the turkey and using this method to cook it. I think that would be crazy delicious.

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  4. V!!!
    This is wack! sounds insane but I high temp roast chickies all the time… Just might try it.

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  5. Guess what, Veronica?! I just bought my first ever whole bird!! It was on a gorgeous sale so I couldn’t help it…but now I have to roast it, doh! But your post came at the perfect time. :-)

    And I’ve got my eye on that pumpkin cheese ball and the gooey pumpkin butter cake! :D

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  6. I normally fry my turkey (sooo juicy! and quick!) but it looks like it’s going to rain Thursday. I’ve never liked roasting a turkey b/c it takes so long and requires so much basting, and even then, it usually turns out dry. So thank you for this, Veronica!

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  7. The turkey recipe sounds awesome! I go to my SIL’s for Thanksgiving but, we get a turkey from work. So, I will be having turkey soon and will try this. I think I printed off most all of the other recipes too! :) Thanks V!

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  8. What a clever way to cook a turkey! I love your other Thanksgiving dish ideas too — pumpkin butter cake is a favorite in our family!

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  9. Such a yummy turkey! I have yet to cook a whole bird…I gotta get on that!

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