The Absolute Most Amazing Holiday Turkey Recipe That You've Never Heard Of

4 years ago
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This is a Depression-era recipe that was passed down to me, and it has never failed me.

It is astounding how complicated turkey can become: Is it too dry. Is it burnt. Do you deep-fry the turkey. Do you set your house on fire by deep-frying the turkey…  There are so many avenues to go down.  But Thanksgiving is supposed to be relaxing; how about we keep this simple and delicious.

What you need:

  • A huge baking dish (I use the aluminum ones from the store)
  • A huge turkey
  • Crisco
  • 2 large paper bags
  • 1 apple
  • 1 butternut squash or yams
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, thyme, fresh rosemary
  • Yellow dish gloves
  • Paper towels


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.   I will also suggest you make sure your oven is clean before you set it this high.  You might have small fires on the bottom of your oven if it has crumbs or anything. Just speaking as a friend, here.
  2. Wash your turkey in the sink, just to get debris and blood off.  Also empty the cavity of the neck and organs.
  3. Now, take a paper bag, paper towels, the Crisco and set them aside together.  With your gloved hands, take a paper towel and get a big scoop of Crisco on it.  Now, start lining the inside of the paper bag with the Crisco.  It doesn’t have to be a thick layer at all, just make sure you get every inch of the inside coated with Crisco.  Do this to both bags. This is going to keep the moisture of the turkey stable while it is cooking, as well as preventing the bags to catch on fire.
  4. Go back to the turkey and place it in the baking pan.  Pour olive oil on top to coat the skin, then sprinkle all the spices on top. The olive oil is going to make the skin moist and crispy, and the spices stick to it if you do it in this order.
  5. Cut the apple, yellow onion and peeled yams and put them in the turkey. You could easily use butternut squash, but I have crazy reaction to them, so I stick to yams.  Also, this step is to season and moisten the turkey from the inside, plus it makes a fantastic gravy afterward.
  6. Slide one of the bags around the turkey, and then slide the other bag on the other side of the turkey.  I used to be able to fit a turkey in one bag, but they made the bags smaller over the years, so now you have to use two.
  7. Your turkey should be completely enclosed in this bag tent, and resting in the baking pan.
  8. Place the pan in the oven at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes.  It will smoke a little bit at first (just the Crisco cooking, no worries), so open a window.
  9. Turn the heat down to 325F for the rest of the time.  How long? 15 minutes per pound.

Image: Courtesy of Tamarah

This will absolutely be the best turkey you have ever made.  It is always moist, has tons of flavor, the gravy is fantastic.  Love, love, love.

~~For those of us with fire.~~

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