You might be wondering why in the world I have a recipe for an upside down turkey. Well it’s a simple idea that I heard about a few years ago and now it’s the only way I roast my Thanksgiving turkeys.
Here’s why it works: When you start roasting an upside down turkey, the juices from all of the dark meat will drip down into the breast meat as it cooks. Leaving the breast meat more tender and juicy. Smart huh?!
This recipe is also an easy one. There’s no brining or soaking. Just a simple butter rub that leaves the meat flavorful and moist.
This is my go-to turkey recipe. It’s easy. It doesn’t involve a lot of prep work and it comes out juicy and flavorful every time! Oh, and if you’re worried that you will have marks from the rack, don’t be. The turkey get turned back over half way through the cooking time and the breast meat plumps right back up!
Upside Down Turkey
- 1 raw turkey thawed
For the Rub
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- 6 large garlic cloves (minced)
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp chopped thyme
- 3 tbsp chopped sage
- 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
Inside the Turkey Cavity
- 2 lemons cut into small pieces
- 1 red onion cut into small pieces
- 6 large garlic cloves (peeled and left whole)
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove the neck bone and the giblets from the turkey and discard.
- In a bowl add your softened butter and the rest of the rub ingredients and mix together until combined.
- Pat the outside of the turkey dry with paper towels.
- Use your hand and make a pocket underneath the skin of the turkey breast and add half of the butter mixture and spread it underneath the skin.
- Spread the remaining butter mixture all over the rest of the turkey.
- Stuff the turkey cavity with the lemons, onion, and remaining garlic.
- Place the turkey upside down on the roasting rack and place in the oven. Lower the heat to 325.
- Depending on your turkey size, your cooking time will be different. CLICK HERE for a handy cooking time chart.
- When HALF of your cooking time is up, take the turkey out of the oven, turn it over (breast side up) and place back in the oven for the second half of cooking. (see notes) Don't worry about the marks from the rack. The breast meat will plump right back up.
- Cook until the temperature reaches 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast meat. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.