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The easiest foolproof turkey you will ever make.

Take it from someone that has had their share of turkey disasters.

You might not know is that for the past 15 years I have been deathly afraid of making the turkey.

It all goes back to the very first Thanksgiving I celebrated in the USA. I had no clue that a frozen turkey took so long to thaw so I ended up serving an ice-cold bird.

But Jade is born here and I wanted her to enjoy all the Thanksgiving traditions. So last year I tried my hand at it again and this time I used a fresh turkey. I looked at a few recipes and decided to do a version with salt brine and a herb butter mixture.

The best part of this recipe is I didn’t have to open and baste the turkey during cooking and the end result was a moist, juicy and succulent bird.

It’s so yummy and delicious and is perfect to feed a large group of guests over the holidays.

xxx Chef MM


Thyme Roasted Turkey

  • Author: Melissa Mayo


  • 1 fresh turkey (812 lbs/ Kg)
  • 3 TBS Kosher salt
  • 1 TBS black pepper
  • 1 cup butter /pareve margarine
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 large bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 whole lemon, halved
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise


Two days before roasting the turkey, combine 3 TBS salt and 1 TBS black pepper. Wash the turkey inside and out and pat it dry with towels. Sprinkle 1 TBS of the salt and pepper mixture in the cavity and rub the rest on the skin (remember under the wings and legs). Place the turkey in a shallow dish and wrap with plastic wrap.

The day before, remove the plastic wrap and leave the turkey uncovered in the fridge. The skin will dry out. Combine the room temperature butter/margarine with the zest and juice of the lemon and the chopped thyme leaves. Create a cavity between the turkey breast and the skin. Place 1⁄3 of the margarine mixture between the turkey and the skin and place the remainder on the skin.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/175 C

Stuff the cavity with the halved lemon, quartered onion, and the halved head of garlic. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

Roast the turkey for about 2½ hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil and rest for 20 minutes. Slice turkey and serve.


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I'm Melissa, your host & tour guide.

A Food Network chef, author, mamma, eternal optimist, wannabe-mermaid, spice mixologist, and “dough therapist” (yep, it’s a thing)—

I'm also the founder of Susina Cucina, the gorgeous, Italian cooking school I manifested into my reality. I’m obsessed with Aperol spritzes, travel, and mouthwatering food… especially pizza and pasta.

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