Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Roasting Thanksgiving Turkey Parts

Ultimate Guide to Perfectly Roasting Thanksgiving Turkey Parts - Simple & Delicious

Discover the secret to a mouthwatering, evenly cooked Thanksgiving turkey that will have your guests raving. Say goodbye to dry breast meat and undercooked thighs with this game-changing roasting technique!

Ever wondered why traditional whole roast turkeys often disappoint? The answer lies in the temperature gap between white and dark meat. But fear not! We’ve cracked the code to turkey perfection.

Why Roasting Turkey in Parts is a Game-Changer

By separating the dark meat from the white, we can achieve the ideal 20-degree temperature difference between succulent thighs and juicy breasts. This method not only ensures perfect doneness but also allows for luxuriously tender leg meat through slow-cooking.

The breast, transformed into a cylindrical roast, cooks evenly from end to end. This simple yet brilliant technique guarantees consistent thickness and flavor throughout.

The Secret to Juicy Meat and Crispy Skin

Our method involves a two-step cooking process: 1. Slow-roast at 275°F for unparalleled juiciness 2. Quick blast at 500°F for that irresistibly crispy skin

The result? A perfectly cooked 12-15 pound bird in under 2 hours – a significant time-saver compared to traditional methods.

Roast Turkey in Parts: The Recipe


  • 1 whole turkey, 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8kg)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large ribs celery, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 quart (900ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon marmite
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) soy sauce


  1. Begin by expertly butchering your turkey. Remove the legs and set them aside. Separate the backbone and carcass from the breast, then detach the wings. Chop the backbone and carcass into rough pieces. Season all parts generously with salt and pepper. For optimal results, arrange the turkey parts on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and let them rest uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C) and position the rack in the lower-middle. Create a flavorful base by spreading onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns across a rimmed baking sheet. Pour in 1 cup (240ml) of stock and place a wire rack on top. Arrange the turkey pieces on the rack, ensuring some space between them.
  3. Roast the turkey until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 150°F (66°C), which typically takes 2 to 3 hours. Remove the breast and set it aside. Continue roasting the legs until they reach 170°F (77°C), approximately 30 minutes longer. Don’t be alarmed if the turkey isn’t browned at this stage. Let the cooked pieces rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Strain the vegetables from the tray, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids.
  4. While the turkey roasts, prepare a rich gravy. Chop the carcass and neck into 1-inch chunks. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil until it’s just smoking. Add the turkey pieces and brown them thoroughly, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining stock and enough water to barely cover the turkey. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let it cook while the turkey roasts.
  5. As the turkey rests, strain the stock and combine it with the reserved liquid from the roasting pan. If desired, cut the giblets into 1/4-inch pieces. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add giblets and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until it turns a light blonde color. Gradually whisk in the reserved stock, Marmite, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then simmer until it reaches your desired consistency, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. 30 minutes before serving, preheat your oven to 500°F (260°C). Place the turkey back in the oven and roast until the skin turns crisp and golden brown, turning the breast once during cooking. Serve immediately with your homemade gravy.

Pro Tips

For best results, use a wire cooling rack set in a half-sheet pan instead of a traditional roasting pan. We highly recommend dry-brining your turkey by letting it rest in the refrigerator overnight after seasoning. This extra step ensures maximum flavor and juiciness.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
782 Calories
33g Fat
4g Carbs
110g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 782
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 43%
Saturated Fat 10g 51%
Cholesterol 420mg 140%
Sodium 648mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 110g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 73mg 6%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 1013mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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