Whether your Thanksgiving is pared down this year and you’re looking for a delicious alternative to turkey, or you just want a delicious new way to enjoy your bird (turkey or chicken), this is my absolute favorite way to roast a bird!
The directions are the same for turkey or chicken- the cooking time differs, so make sure you know how big your bird is, and please, goodness PLEASE, use a thermometer (into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone).
How long to cook a whole chicken:
- Chicken needs to be cooked about 20 minutes per pound at 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For a 4-5 pound chicken, cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- For a larger 6-7 pound chicken, cook for 2 hours to 2 hours and 20 minutes.
- If you start at a higher heat, you can cook for less per pound- around 15 minutes.
- Make sure to always test the internal temperature at the thigh and ensure it is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (juices should also run clear).
How long to cook a turkey:
- Turkey needs to be cooked longer than chicken, around 13 minutes per pound at 325-350 degrees Farenheit.
- I prefer, just like with chicken, to start hot to cook the skin, and then low and slow to cook through.
- A smaller, 11-12 pound turkey will take around 2 hours and 20 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes to cook.
- A medium, 13-15 pound turkey will take around 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 hours and 15 minutes.
- A larger, 16-18 pound turkey will take around 3 hours and 20 minutes to 3 hours and 40 minutes.
How to test the temperature of a turkey: Test the internal temperature of a turkey at the thickest part of the thigh and breast, not touching the bone and ensure it is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (juices should also run clear).
Ok, let’s dress this bird up!
1 medium-sized chicken (4-5 lbs) or 1 medium sized turkey (13-14 lb; double the following ingredients)
Herb Butter (see below)
1 apple, sliced in half
4 medium carrots, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
Sea salt as needed
Herb Butter (double for turkey)
- 1/4 cup softened or melted butter
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- 2 tsp fresh picked thyme
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
1. Preheat oven to 425. Mix softened butter with chopped herbs and garlic until well combined.
2. Remove bird from packaging and remove innards. Pat dry all over.
3. Truss if needed, and cover inside and out with herb butter (see recipe above) and salt generously. Stuff inner cavity with apple.
4. Arrange carrots and onions on the bottom of roasting pan. Place chicken on top.
5. For turkey, roast for 20 minutes with no cover. For chicken roast for 1 hour (60 minutes). Reduce heat to 375 for chicken or or 325 for turkey. Cover with foil.
6. For chicken, roast an additional 20-60 minutes (15 minutes per pound starting at 4 lbs) until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
7. For turkey, roast an additional 13 minutes per pound (around 2 1/2-3 hours) until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Baste in juices every 30 minutes.
8. Optional: I like to remove the cover again for the last 10 minutes to further brown the top.