Perfect Roast Turkey in just 2.5 hours!!!

20.5 lb turkey COMPLETLEY cooked, start to finish, in 2.5 hours!


Recipe Source: adapted slightly from My Kitchen Cafe http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2009/11/thanksgiving-dinner-101-the-turkey.html
2.5-Hour Roast Turkey
1 18-22 pound turkey (I’ve used both a 20.5, and a 21.5 pound turkey with great results)

Juice of 1 lemon                                                                                                                   1 tablespoon salt
1 tsp garlic powder 
2 TB poultry seasoning [ I used McCormack’s Roasting Rub French Herb seasoning] 
butter brown paper Grocery bag [Kroger still carries these.]
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and let it pre-heat for half hour. Meanwhile, remove giblets and neck and wash the turkey. Thoroughly rub inside of the cavity of the turkey with seasonings. Combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper and seasonings in a small bowl. With your hands, rub the entire turkey with the lemon juice mixture. Try to get some under the skin of the breast to really flavor the meat.

Place the turkey breast down (this is opposite of how a turkey is normally cooked – so just flip the turkey upside down) in a large roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the hot oven for as many minutes as the turkey weighs (ie.20 lb. turkey = 20 minutes). Bake for the allotted time.
I stole this picture from Melskitchencafe.com
Meanwhile, grease a large brown paper bag with softened [NOT MELTED] butter on both sides [Took about 2/3 of a stick]. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and carefully make a tent out of the paper bag and drape it over the turkey, taking care to tuck the sides of the bag into the roasting pan. MAKE CERTAIN NONE of the bag edges hang over the edges of the roasting pan  where they might drip down onto the heating coils and cause a fire.  Turn the oven down to 400 degrees and cook the turkey for two hours 10 minutes.
Remove the roasting pan and turkey from the oven and let turkey sit, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove turkey from the roasting pan. 
The paper bag should be greased with butter on both sides and tucked in like picture below. With my large roasting pan, I still had to trim about 8 inches off the side of the paper bag so it wasn’t too long to tuck in. My bag touched the top of the turkey and it was fine.
**I’ve read a few variations of this recipe where they staple or otherwise seal the bag— but I can’t figure out how that happens when working  with a 500 degree turkey.**

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