When it comes to holiday cooking, my father and I spend weeks deciding who is making the various side dishes. But when it comes to roasting the turkey, there’s no discussion. Of course that task falls to my mother.
Why? True, she has cooked our Thanksgiving turkey for over 50 years, so she knows what she’s doing.
But the real reason is that her roast turkey is always perfectly done, the breast never dried out, but tender and full of flavor.
How does she do it? She cooks the turkey breast-side down. While the turkey roasts, the juices fall down towards the breast, resulting in the most succulent meat. The breast is also more protected from the heat, which helps keep it getting too dried out.
She also uses a meat thermometer to take out any guess work of when the turkey is done.