MaryAnn’s “Perfect Every Time” Turkey

turkey pan cooked

As I have mentioned time and time again, sharing recipes with family and friends is one of the great joys in my life.  I truly believe it has brought me closer to family, old friends and new friends alike.  It can even make a relative stranger part of your life.  Sharing something that we love with another person naturally brings us closer together, not only in the moment of exchange, but for years to come.   Each time I make the recipe (or even just glace at it), I remember that person in a special way.    I love to remember the time and place of the exchange.  It always brings a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart.

This recipe for MaryAnn’s Perfect Every Time Turkey, as I call it, really brings an enormous grin to my face as I recall how she not only brought me the recipe for making a truly amazing turkey, but she also brought me the pan in which to make it.  She arrived one Tuesday morning to our writing class, with a large turkey roaster and a step by step typed recipe.  The week before, she and I had spent some time after class discussing the trials of cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  Yes, even after decades of orchestrating this favorite meal, it still astounds me at how much work goes into producing a “perfect” Thanksgiving meal. Mary Ann swore that this pan and recipe would take all the guess work out of at least the turkey portion of the meal.   I could not have been more grateful.  So, I left class that November Tuesday with all my notebooks, papers and pens, and a turkey pan and recipe.  Happy?  Oh yeah!!

I wasn’t cooking Thanksgiving dinner that year, but I waited patiently to try this.   One Sunday, a few months later, when I had a full house for dinner, I abandoned our usual pasta with Sunday sauce tradition, and made a full Thanksgiving dinner.   I used the pan and followed MaryAnn’s recipe to a tee.  All I have to say is, “THE BEST TURKEY EVER!”

There’s still time to buy this pan on Amazon, or I’m sure in many stores.  Just remember that you don’t need to buy an expensive roaster.  However, if you already have a roaster, try this recipe.  You’ll be able to stop the worry and focus on the rest of the meal.  I guarantee you’ll be thankful for a “perfectly” moist and flavorful turkey with “perfectly” crisp skin!

PS  I apologize for the lack of pictures.  No one could keep their hands off the turkey meat and skin long enough for me to get some good pictures….including the puppy!  It’s that good!


 14 to 18 lb turkey will fit in this pan.

5 TBSP butter

1 lemon

1 onion

few sprigs of fresh thyme

1 cup chicken broth

carrots celery and onions, chopped in large pieces, optional ( if you don’t have a rack for your pan.

  1.  Clean, dry and season turkey generously, inside and out, with kosher salt and pepper.  Brush all over with 2 to 3 TBSP melted butter.  Stuff the inside with a whole lemon, onion and fresh thyme.
  2. Place on a rack in the pan, or if you don’t have a rack, chop up big pieces of carrots, celery and onions, and place that on the bottom of the pan instead.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and roast the turkey with the lid on for 1 hour.
  4. After the first hour, pour in 1 cup of chicken stock.
  5. Baste it and brush it with additional 2 TBSP butter and roast with the lid on for another 30 to 60 minutes, until you achieve 165 degrees (breast).
  6. Take off the lid for the last 15 minutes to crisp it up nicely.

**NOTE:  Read MaryAnn’s recipe, as she will really convince you to use this method, if I haven’t done so already. turkey pan recipe

turkey pan closeupTurkey pan kitchenturkey seasonedIMG_2160turkey puppyturkey pan cooked


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