How to Cook a Turkey

Recipes with images of how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey.

Herbed Roast Turkey
Brushing a simple herb butter over the turkey before and during cooking is a straightforward, time-honored way of achieving great flavor and crisp skin. See the recipe for Herbed Roast Turkey »André Baranowski
Grilled Turkey
Grilled Turkey
This recipe for grilling a whole turkey—a method that yields a smoky flavor and crisp skin while freeing up oven space for side dishes—comes from Barbara Ries of San Rafael, California. Grilling works the best with a bird that's been soaked in a brine solution overnight.Barbara Ries
Chile-Rubbed Roast Turkey
Chile-Rubbed Roast Turkey
We've tried many roasting methods over the years, but the one Susana Trilling uses to make the chile-rubbed turkey she serves at her Thanksgiving feast in Oaxaca, Mexico, really stands out. An hour into roasting, Trilling flips the turkey so that the breast is on the bottom. The result is juicy white meat and meltingly tender legs and thighs.Landon Nordeman
Sage-Brined Roast Turkey with Oyster Dressing
Sage-Brined Roast Turkey with Oyster Dressing
This sage-infused roast turkey is stuffed with a bacon-enriched dressing brimming with wild rice, hazelnuts, and oysters.Todd Coleman
Turkey with Sauerkraut, Riesling, and Pork Sausages
Turkey with Sauerkraut, Riesling, and Pork Sausages
Turkey soaks up aromatic flavors like a sponge, and this riff on the Alsatian dish choucroute garnie is a case in point: as the bird roasts under a cloak of bacon and braises in sauerkraut, wine, apples, and a bundle of spices, it takes on the piney fragrance of juniper berries, the fruity flavor of the riesling wine, and some of the smokiness and savor of the pork. Serve this dish with the traditional choucroute accompaniments: sausages, boiled potatoes, and tangy mustard.Todd Coleman
Turkey in Mole Poblano
Turkey in Mole Poblano
It may be called the great American bird, but turkey was first domesticated in Mexico, where, as James Beard once wrote, "it was to that country what beef is to the United States." One of our favorite preparations is a celebratory dish from the Mexican state of Puebla: a slow braise of breast meat in a deep, dark mole that's shot through with three kinds of dried chiles, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds and enriched with chocolate and spices. The spicy, sweet, savory sauce can be sopped up with hot tortillas and rice, or even crusty bread.Todd Coleman
Boudin-Stuffed Turkey Breast
Boudin-Stuffed Turkey Breast
Butterflying breast meat and stuffing it is a cook's trick for ensuring a flavorful, juicy, and evenly cooked holiday roast. This dish, inspired by a recipe from the chef Donald Link of Herbsaint and Cochon restaurants in New Orleans, has a Cajun accent: the stuffing of boudin (a spicy pork and rice sausage) gives the turkey a piquant appeal. The best part? Rolling the breast and slicing it enables everyone at the table to have a piece with plenty of sumptuous stuffing and crackly skin.Todd Coleman
Roast Turkey with Root Vegetables and Gravy
Roasting turkey wings, legs, and breasts over root vegetables, butternut squash, and herbs not only lends the meat a sweet and vegetal flavor but also allows you to treat each piece like a mini roast that can be taken out of the oven as soon as it's cooked to the correct temperature. See the recipe for Roast Turkey with Root Vegetables and Gravy »Todd Coleman
Brined and Roasted Turkey
Brining turkeys has become de rigueur in many American households. How does it work? Soaking the bird in a salty brine causes it to absorb some of the seasoned liquid, which breaks down the proteins and seals in flavor and moisture. See the recipe for Brined and Roasted Turkey »James Oseland
Turkey Confit
Curing and cooking turkey legs and wings in duck fat--yielding the dish that the French call confit--renders them succulent; roasting them in the oven afterward makes them crisp. See the recipe for Turkey Confit »André Baranowski
Leah Chase's Roasted Turkey
Leah Chase, the longtime chef at Dooky Chase, prepares a roasted turkey with astonishingly tender and juicy breast meat. The secret, we learned, is to seal the bird in an oversize packet of aluminum foil, which locks in the moisture. To brown the bird, she unwraps it and roasts it at a high temperature for the last 30 minutes. See the recipe for Leah Chase's Roasted Turkey »Landon Nordeman
Stuffed Turkey Breast See the Stuffed Turkey Breast recipeAndré Baranowski
Roast Turkey with Madeira Truffle Butter
This recipe yields a Thanksgiving turkey that is moist, delicious, and a perfect foil for inventive accompaniments, such as our Madeira-Truffle Butter, Multicultural Stuffing, and Rich Gravy recipes. Just garnish the bird with a few sprigs of fresh herbs before servings, and you've got the makings of a lovely holiday dinner. See the recipe for Roast Turkey with Madeira Truffle Butter »Christopher Hirsheimer
Turkey with Spiced Ground Pork Stuffing
Long before the arrival of the Spanish, wild turkeys populated Mexico, and the Aztecs domesticated them. Picadillo is also used to fill tacos, tamales, and quesadillas and to stuff chiles. See the recipe for Turkey with Spiced Ground Pork Stuffing »David Sawyer
Thanksgiving Roast Turkey with Corn Bread Dressing
This recipe comes from a true Kentuckian, Rena McClure, who has lived there her whole life. She doesn't fuss over her turkey and doesn't bake her dressing in the bird; instead, she cooks it in a baking dish alongside. Kentuckians generally don't put sugar into their corn bread, and, like most Southerners, they use white cornmeal, never yellow. Also, tradition calls for baking it in a cast-iron skillet. Rena, who has been making corn bread since she was a child, measures most ingredients by handfuls and scoops. See the recipe for Thanksgiving Roast Turkey with Corn Bread Dressing »Christopher Hirsheimer
Roast Turkey With Wild Rice Stuffing
Surprisingly little known today, Clementine Paddleford was an influential newspaper food editor and early champion of American cooking. This savory stuffing recipe and the turkey roasting method are hers. See the recipe for Roast Turkey With Wild Rice Stuffing »James Baigrie