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Roasted Turkey in Parchment with Gravy

Martha made this recipe on Cooking School episode 406.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Roasted Turkey in Parchment with Gravy

Photography: Marcus Nilsson

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2013



  1. Let turkey stand at room temperature 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with rack in lower third. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Fill body cavity with about 6 cups stuffing. Fill neck cavity; capacity varies, requires 11/2-4 cups stuffing. Bake any remaining stuffing separately. Secure skin flaps with toothpicks or skewers. Spread 6 tablespoons butter over top of turkey, then season generously with salt and pepper. Tie drumsticks together with kitchen twine. Tuck wings under turkey.

  2. Place a 40-inch sheet of parchment on a work surface and spread with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Place turkey on top, with a short side of bird facing you. Gather ends, wrapping turkey. Fold overlapping ends of parchment over turkey and secure with staples. Place a 48-inch sheet of parchment on work surface, place turkey on top, and rotate 90 degrees. Fold short parchment sides over turkey and secure with staples. Rotate bird another 90 degrees and repeat process with another 40-inch sheet of parchment. Secure all paper flaps with staples.

  3. Place turkey in parchment on a flat (not V-shaped) rack set inside a roasting pan. Roast turkey 2 hours, 45 minutes. Remove from oven; cut open parchment with scissors. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. While holding drumsticks, slide parchment out from under turkey and discard. Return turkey to oven. Continue to roast turkey until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in breast reads 165 degrees, about 45 minutes more. Transfer to a carving board and let rest at least 45 minutes and up to 1 hour before carving.

  4. Meanwhile, remove stuffing from both cavities; transfer to an 8-inch-square baking dish and bake until thermometer inserted in center of stuffing reads at least 165 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes. Using drippings in pan, make turkey gravy.

Cook's Note

If your turkey is larger than the 14-pounder called for in the recipe:

1. Increase length of parchment sheets so you have enough to come up and over the turkey, and to crimp and staple.

2. Increase cooking time to 10 minutes more per pound before removing the parchment. Begin checking the temperature 30 minutes after removing parchment.

Reviews (12)

  • AngieG4 21 Oct, 2014

    Wow, wow. The parchment paper turkey recipe was the best, easiest and moistest turkey I have ever done. And the turkey browned just as well and maybe even better than the old basting way. How nice not to have to lug the turkey out of the oven every half hour to baste. Actually I really didn't have to take off the parchment to brown as it was already perfect. Next time, I will set the temp gage in the turkey and just let it cook til done. My daughter tried and loved that method also.

  • Libbypgraf 12 Oct, 2014

    I will never make turkey another way again. I've never been fond of turkey. This changed that. I brined the turkey first. Made as Martha directed. Fantastic.

  • beefbone 4 Dec, 2013

    I will never make a turkey any other way again… it was the most beautiful, moist, delicious turkey we've ever had. 18 pound bird, stuffed, had no problems with removing the parchment. My sister held the legs and I pulled the parchment… easy peasy.

  • bradavis 2 Dec, 2013

    I followed the method in this recipe for a 20 lb., unstuffed turkey, and it turned out PERFECTLY. The meat was the moistest, most succulent ever, and the skin crisped perfectly. I translated the recipe for the larger, unstuffed bird: 12 minutes per lb., 80% of the total roasting time should be done at the low temperature in the parchment package and 20% at the high temperature with the paper removed.

  • rosarosa222 25 Dec, 2014

    Hey, thanks for the conversion chart. I made my turkey unstuffed tonight and it came out very good. :)

  • mlaham 30 Nov, 2013

    I followed the recipe explicitly - even calibrated the oven - very disappointed with the outcome. Not only was it messy and cumbersome with all the softened butter, huge sheets of parchment, stuffing/removing stuffing....The turkey was bland and didn't cook thoroughly. Had to put it back in the oven for at least an extra hour - then became dry and caused my meal to be delayed. Next year I will do Ina Gartin's Accidental Turkey - always delicious and no fuss.

  • I_Fortuna 19 Nov, 2014

    Did you use a meat thermometer to check that the turkey is done? This is the best way as it will never fail to give you a fully cooked turkey.
    Also, make sure that the turkey is completely defrosted and at room temperature before putting it in the oven. And, I let my oven preheat for 30 minutes before inserting the food.
    This method is similar to the turkey cooking bags you can get at the market. They work well too and there is not such a mess nor is it as cumbersome.
    Hope this helps. : )

  • Amurphy 30 Nov, 2013

    I followed Marta's recipe precisely and the turkey turned out to be the most moist, flavorful, and beautiful bird ever! My turkey was 20 lbs. and I made the editor's notes adjustments and it was perfection.

  • Nan ci 29 Nov, 2013

    Cooked a 20 lb turkey at home and took it in to work for our Thanksgiving potluck. Everyone loved it, mainly, because the bird was so moist even for a second-day of left-over turkey sandwiches. Removing the paper is tricky. Any suggestions?

  • Nan ci 29 Nov, 2013

    Cooked a 20 lb turkey at home and took it in to work for our Thanksgiving potluck. Everyone loved it, mainly, because the bird was so moist even for a second-day of left-over turkey sandwiches. Removing the paper is tricky. Any suggestions?

  • Lori N 28 Nov, 2013

    This recipe worked well, with 2 exceptions--removing the stuffing to a pan after removing the parchment paper was messy. If I make this again, I won't stuff the turkey but will cook the dressing separately. Also, I was very careful when removing the parchment but somehow one of the staples was missing, (I had counted them when stapling) probably because the parchment gets somewhat brittle after baking. I searched until I found it. Maybe there's an alternative to using staples?

  • sophistimom 23 Nov, 2014

    I made a chicken with the stapling method a couple weeks ago, and I counted the staples, too. They were all there, thank goodness.
    I was thinking you could use a few small stainless steel bulldog clips or those binder clips--the ones you find in the paperclip section. I use the binder clips for keeping parchment paper from falling down into my cake batter, so I bet they would work really well to hold the folds together.

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