Roast Turkey Recipe

We have done a lot of experimental cooking with our turkeys and have found what we believe to be the ideal way to roast these birds. Every Diestel turkey comes with this recipe.

A NOTE FROM DIESTEL TURKEY RANCH: Our turkeys are chilled for freshness. Prior to bagging our turkeys are chilled in ice (not re-chilled water), in small tanks. Each tank of turkeys receives fresh, clean ice water. Once in a bag we hold our birds in refrigeration as cold as possible without freezing. While the USDA allows turkeys to be labeled fresh when held as low as 26° F, we chill only to 28° F.

Chilling is our only way of maintaining its wholesomeness since we do not use preservatives or additives. Chilling can result in a cold, firm turkey we term "crusted" which we feel is ideal for you to take home to your refrigeration, allowing transportation time for that last minute stop. In preparing for your oven, a firm turkey will easily soften by merely submerging the turkey, in its bag, under cold running water.

Remove turkey from the bag. After removing neck and giblets from the body cavity, rinse the bird with cold water. Pat cavities lightly with a paper towel. Rub body and neck cavities with salt, and stuff loosely. Truss neck cavity with metal skewer and truss legs.

NYLON TRUSS: To remove the truss just lift the ring and pull it up and over the end of the drumstick. To secure the truss, hold the drumsticks together, lift the ring and pull it over the drumsticks. The nylon truss is oven and microwave safe and can withstand oven temperatures of up to 450° F.

THE PASTE OR RUB: Spread exterior of turkey with a blend of your favorite herbs and spices or with a paste made of the following ingredients:

4 tbsp oil, (melted butter, margarine, olive oil, etc.)
4 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 tsp. paprika

Heat oven to 325° F. Place bird in open pan, breast side up. Pour two 8 ounce cups of water in bottom of pan. Place in oven. See table below for suggested roasting times (stuffed turkey).

NOTE: If roasting turkey unstuffed then decrease roasting time by approximately 30 minutes.

NOTE: Roasting time may vary as much as 30 minutes due to differences in individual equipment. You may want to check your oven for correct temperature. Please follow roasting times suggested being careful not to over-roast. There is no need to turn the bird while roasting as it will brown to a rich, golden color. However, a piece of foil should be placed loosely over the turkey for approximately the last hour of roasting. Roast until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (behind the drumstick) without touching the bone registers 165° - 170° F. Remove from oven. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

HEN Weight Roasting Time TOM weight Roasting Time
6-10 lbs.* approx. 2 hrs. 24-26 lbs. 4 3/4 - 5 hrs.
10-12 lbs 3 - 3 1/4 hrs. 26-28 lbs. 5 - 5 1/4 hrs.
12-14 lbs. 3 1/4 - 3 1/2 hrs. 28-30 lbs. 5 1/4 - 5 1/2 hrs.
14-16 lbs. 3 1/2 - 3 3/4 hrs. 30-32 lbs. 5 1/2 - 5 3/4 hrs.
16-18 lbs. 3 3/4 - 4 hrs. 32-34 lbs. 5 3/4 - 6 1/4 hrs.
18-20 lbs. 4 - 4 1/2 hrs. 34-36+ lbs. 6 1/4 - 6 1/2 hrs.
20-22 lbs. 4 1/2 - 5 hrs.
22-24 lbs. 5 - 5 1/2 hrs.
24-26 lbs. 5 1/2 - 5 3/4 hrs.

How do I roast my Diestel bone-in breast?
To prepare simply remove from bag, put in an open roasting pan and roast at 325° F for approximately 18 minutes per pound to an internal temperature of 160° F. (Be careful not to over-roast!)

Old-Fashioned Turkey Gravy:
After your turkey is done add 6 to 8 ice cubes to juices in pan so fat can surface to be skimmed. Make a flour and cornstarch paste (half and half) with cold water. Combine thoroughly. Add to boiling drippings in pan, stirring to thicken. Season to taste.

OPTIONAL: When the turkey is half done, heat, DO NOT BOIL, one cup white wine and pour over turkey. This is the secret to a marvelous gravy.