The best way to cook delicious turkey meat, is to cook it in the oven. This is a traditional Thanksgiving recipe, but I use to prepare it for years at any occasion my family has. For a flavorful and tender baked turkey – you will need to make a delicious marinade. For me, this is one of the main points to have a juicy and yummy baked turkey. It may sound so hard and difficult to cook a good-looking, tasty roasted turkey – but the delicious result may be surprising and so satisfying at the end. Many times we are afraid of failure when thinking to prepare many dishes, for example it always terrifies me the process of preparing dough, but this is a motivation for me to always experience. This is the way – the hard way – that now I bake such appetizing and yummy dishes, as well as our roasted turkey.
For a perfect roasted turkey, just like my mom uses to make, you will need a tasty marinade, best turkey calf – or any turkey parts you like – aromatic dressing and a well preheated oven. The flavors of the turkey, while it is baked, are really outstanding and mouth-watering. I barely stand out not to open the oven door and to try a small piece. For some years, in my family, my husband is in charge to bake the best roasted turkey. He adores to cook, and when it comes out really appetizing and delicious he is so enchanted. He cooks the turkey calf so tenderly and full of flavors that I have changed my duty with him, and this is so satisfying and helpful.
How do you make Turkey marinade?
Turkey is a tender meat that doesn’t need too much time to marinate. Neither it needs many ingredients for an aromatic marinade. As a first thing you’ll need an acidic ingredient such as kiwi, tomato, lemon or orange. The acid softens the meat, this goes as a rule for all kinds of meat. I used kiwi for this turkey marinade because this is a family tradition for many years.
Olive oil is a great partner to the kiwi, one will tender the meat while the other will enhance its aroma. When buying kiwi, pick one that is well ripe. It is much easier to puree it, of use rasp to grate the fruit. This way it will release its juice – necessary acids for fermentation. Never skip the salt and pepper. Always go for mixed peppers, such as black, red and green. And of course the savory Italian herbs like oregano, rosemary, basil and thyme. The meat will absorb the flavor of the herbs and will release them later in your mouth. Mmmmm… yummy!
The longer you keep meat in the marinade, the softer and aromatic it will come out when baked. Here’s a small tip, if you’re out of time, season the meat and leave it at room temperature. Do not place it in the fridge if you intend to bake it in about 30-60 mins. Fermentation process goes faster when at room temperature. Low temperature will slow it down. Best marinades are the ones left overnight in the fridge, though.
How to bake the Turkey?
For the beginning, you have to buy a good quality turkey. For small family dinners, we buy the turkey calf, but you can go for any parts, or a whole one, as well.
Firstly, you will have to run the turkey under water. Leave aside on kitchen paper towel for the excess water to be absorbed.
The marinade for this turkey recipe is the following: I have used 1 sliced kiwi, salt, garlic spice, paprika, black pepper and qualitative olive oil. The result is mouth-watering due to its tender and juicy meat with a crispy skin. I simply adore this turkey crispy skin with coarse salt.
- Wash the turkey parts and dry with paper towels. Put aside while you will make the marinade.
- For marinade: 1 pureed kiwi, salt, garlic spice, black pepper, virgin (or extra virgin) olive oil and Italian herbs,
- Marinade the turkey for about 1 hour at room temperature to have a tender and aromatic meat. Better yet, leave it overnight in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) .
- If you kept the marinated turkey in the fridge, it is time to remove it from the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature. It is very important not to bake a cold/fridge meat.
- Place the turkey in a roasting pan and bake for about 80 minutes.
For note: in about 30-40 minutes you can drop the temp to 250 degrees F so that it doesn’t burn. When the turkey is baked, put it on a platter and cover it with a foil to let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving.
How long do you cook the Turkey in the oven?
For ordinary and quiet evenings we usually bake turkey calf, because it is much quicker and feeds the entire family. This part of the turkey is ready in about 80 minutes, which is 1h20m. Of course, for a whole turkey you will need about 3 hours to have the same delicious result. It is also important not to overcook the turkey in order not to dry the meat.
- This turkey recipe can be used on a daily basis with any parts of the turkey or a whole one. It is very important to marinade turkey, as this kind of meat may turn out tasteless and somehow dry. The marinade will make you have a tender, juicy, delicious meat that is simply extraordinarily succulent. I try to cook turkey more often than chicken because it is also dietetic but much healthier.
- You can replace the kiwi with oranges, tomatoes or even lemons for the marinade.
- It is recommended not to open the door while the turkey is baking. This way you avoid cooling of the oven and losing the necessary temperature.
- The turkey, whatever parts you choose for your family dinner, should be cooked/baked skin-side up. While it bakes, the juice from the fat of the skin falls down over the meat, thus creating a tender and juicy turkey with an unbelievable crispy skin. Bon Appetite!
Baked Turkey in the Oven
- Roasting pan
- Carving set
- Large cutting board
- 1 calf turkey
- 1 ripe kiwi
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- Italian herbs
- Wash the turkey parts and dry with paper towels. Put aside while you will make the marinade
- For marinade: 1 pureed kiwi, salt, garlic spice, black pepper, virgin (or extra virgin) olive oil and Italian herbs
- Marinade the turkey for about 1 hour at room temperature to have a tender and aromatic meat. Better yet, leave it overnight in the fridge
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- If you kept the marinated turkey in the fridge, it is time to remove it from the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature. It is very important not to bake a cold/fridge meat
- Place the turkey in a roasting pan and bake for about 80 minutes