Recipe By merritt_family
Published Apr 2nd
Prep 20m Cook 2h Additional 1h Ready In 3h 20m
Servings 1 - 12 pound turkey Calories 758.3

Fabulously moist. Works every time. And, yes, it really is a two-hour turkey! The trick is to use heavy duty, large size aluminum foil and then seal turkey in the foil completely. My new inlaws thought I was crazy when they arrived at our home to a cold, raw turkey one Thanksgiving. But they are believers now.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 (12 pound) turkey, thawed if purchased frozen
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 8 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ cup cognac
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • ½ cup tomato juice

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Remove the turkey from refrigerator and allow it to stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes to an hour.
  2. 2 While turkey is reaching room temperature, place a rack in the lowest position in an oven. Line a large turkey roasting pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, and spray the lined pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. 3 Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey cavity, and set aside. Wash and dry the turkey with paper towels, and rub the turkey with vegetable oil. Sprinkle the turkey, inside and out, with lemon pepper seasoning. Sprinkle the inside of the cavity with salt, and place the quartered onion, parsley sprigs, rosemary, and oranges in the cavity. Sprinkle the area under the neck skin with lemon pepper seasoning, and stuff the area with a few slices of onion. Loosely tie the legs, and fold the wings underneath the turkey.
  4. 4 Place the prepared turkey into the roasting pan. Surround the turkey with the giblets and neck, remainder of sliced onion, and carrot. Mix the white wine, cognac, chicken broth, and tomato juice in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until liquid is hot but not boiling. Pour half the liquid into the turkey cavity and the other half into the pan. Cover the turkey with more aluminum foil, making a tent so the foil doesn't contact the turkey skin. Crimp the foil firmly over the edges of the pan to completely seal the turkey in the foil tent.
  5. 5 Roast in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the turkey from the oven, slit the foil tent, and fold the foil back to expose the turkey skin. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and roast the turkey for 1 more hour, until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 758.3
  • Carbohydrate 8 g
  • Cholesterol 264.5 mg
  • Fat 32.8 g
  • Fiber 1.9 g
  • Protein 91.8 g
  • Saturated Fat 9.4 g
  • Sodium 688.6 mg
  • Sugar 4.5 g

Chef's Notes

Save the drippings left over from roasting the turkey to make a delicious Thanksgiving gravy.


  1. I cooked a 12 lb. bird exactly as this recipe states and it was the best bird I've ever cooked and at 60 I've cooked a few! Sealing the foil so it doesn't leak but is not touching the bird is the secret. I also cooked mine at 425 the whole time! Fell off the - Read more ...
  2. Was skeptical but my needed to cook a 10 lb bird quickly since I also wanted to brine. DId a quick 4 hour brine (double the kosher salt) and cooked for two hours in the oven did not reduce temp It was great. As good as my more long and involved Martha brine/cook recipe. Will - Read more ...
  3. This was the most flavorful and moist turkey I have ever made. Served for Christmas eve the family all raved about it. I did leave out the tomato juice as I don't like it and I added about 15 more minutes to both processes so and extra 30 minutes total for a larger turkey. I - Read more ...
  4. Wonderful. I had a 20 pound turkey so I doubled the recipe. Amazingly it cooked in under 4 hours. The turkey is so moist and has amazing flavor. I did make a few changes because of what we had on hand. We did not have fresh parsley so I used fresh thyme and the leafy - Read more ...
  5. Yes like other reviews have said it really needed approximately 2.5-3 hours to cook but this turkey was the most tender delicate of my cooking life. Caveats include: the gravy made from juices in the turkey was FAR too sweet what with all the fruit juices so plan ahead and have turkey stock on hand. - Read more ...
  6. This is a fabulous recipe. I had a 13-lb turkey and it was done in about 2 hours. The white meat was extremely moist and the drippings made a very flavorful gravy. After the first hour when I removed the foil I did have to add more broth to the pan. And I am allergic - Read more ...
  7. The best turkey I have ever cooked!!!! My turkey was 12 lbs (as the recipe calls for) and it cooked perfectly with 2 hours oven time! Couldn't be easier! I will never make it any other way!!!! Even if I do have to allow extra time for a bigger bird...
  8. The flavor of this turkey is INCREDIBLE. I just skimmed the pan drippings and thickened them and it made the best gravy we've ever had. My husband has requested that this be the only way we make turkey in the future. To be fair you probably need to allow a bit more than two hours - Read more ...
  9. I should have known better then to think this turkey could have cooked in 2 hrs! After 4 1/2 hrs and it still wasn't done I took it out and cut off the breast meat so we could eat! I'm so glad I wasn't cooking for my parents or In-laws!

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