Another Recipe Kitchen Tested by the Party Saviors

Julia Child's Roast Turkey


The holiday bird Julia style!  She prefers to do her stuffing on the side and not in the bird as it keeps the meat from drying out.  She is right...A delicous turkey!

PREP TIME:  15 min.
COOK TIME: 4 hours


Vegetable Oil





  1. Keep the turkey in its original wrapper.  A 20 lb bird takes 3-4 days to defrost in the refrigerator, about 12 hours in a sinkful of water.  
  2. Servings:  Count on 1/2 lb of turkey per serving, or 1 lb per person, with leftovers.  Roast at 325 F.
  3. Cooking Time: For unstuffed birds: 12-14 lbs., about 4 hours; 16 - 20 lbs., about 5 hours; 20-26 lbs., about 6 hours.  Add 20 - 30 minutes in all for stuffed birds.
  4. Internal temperatures:  175 F at the thickest portion of the leg; 165 F in the breast; 160 F in the center of the stuffing. 
  5. To prepare the turkey for roasting, remove the neck and organs from the turkey.  Rinse and pat dry. Cut off the wing nubbins.
  6. Flavor the cavity with salt and pepper, a thinly sliced lemon, small onion and a handful of celery leaves.
  7. Skewer the neck skin to the backbone, and skewer or sew the breast cavity closed.
  8. Rub the turkey with salt and vegetable oil.
  9. Roast breast up on an oiled rack, basting (with oil) rapidy every 20 minutes.  Cover with foil.
  10. Remove the foil the last 20 minutes and baste with butter.  Start testing for doneness.  A sure indication of approaching done-ness is that turkey juices begin to exude into the pan.