There are many ways to slow roast a turkey, some requiring an overnight roast, and others requiring hours according to the weight of the bird, but to slow roast a turkey at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes more time than either roasting a spatchcocked turkey (which takes less than two hours) or conventionally roasting it at a higher temperature. The prep time and the amount of attention to the slow-roasted turkey isn't any more complicated than if it was done conventionally, and the slow roast may ensure a holiday turkey that is juicy and tender.
The United States Department of Agriculture doesn’t recommend roasting a turkey at less than 325 degrees.
Total Time: Up to 8 hours | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Serves: Up to 15
1 18-pound turkey (not Butterball), thawed and insides cleaned
1 1/2 sticks cold butter, diced
1 pound baby carrots
2 large onions, chopped
2 large leeks, sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 head garlic, cut in half across center
2 tablespoons dried thyme or 4 sprigs
2 tablespoons dried sage
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups cream sherry
- Under cold running water, rinse the turkey and remove the
inner giblets. Pat dry.
- In a low-sided roasting pan, situate the turkey in the
center of the pan and loosen the skin by running your fingers between the skin and the
- Slip the cubes of chilled butter underneath the skin. Using toothpicks, secure the skin to the bird.
- In a large bowl, mix the carrots, onions, leek, celery,
garlic halves, thyme, sage, bay leaves, salt and black pepper.
- Line the cavity of the turkey with cheesecloth, letting it fall just outside the cavity.
- Stuff the vegetables inside the
bird and sprinkle what is left into the roasting pan. Twist the cheesecloth ends to close.
- Tipping the bird upward, pour the chicken stock into the cavity,
letting the runoff go into the pan.
- Truss the bird when you lay it back down and cover with
- Heat the oven to 300F and remove all oven racks except the one in the lower position. Make sure there is room above the turkey.
- Slow roast the turkey at 300F. Using a digital thermometer, start testing the internal temperature in
the meatiest part of the thigh after 6 hours. Keep the bird in the oven until the temperature reads 140F.
- Remove the foil from the turkey.
- Pour the cream sherry over the skin and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast for another 30 minutes or until the skin is dark and crisp.
- Test the temperature again. When it reads 160F, take out the turkey and let it sit.
- Remove the cheesecloth lining the cavity, bringing all the stuffing with it.
- Turn the oven heat up to 375F and place the stuffing in a baking dish to heat until it's time to serve.
- A large wooden carving board is where the turkey should rest as you prepare the gravy from the ingredients still in the roasting pan.