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How to Roast the Best Turkey in just one hour!

If you want something a little different for your Thanksgiving this year, this roast turkey with herbs and wine is a great way to go. Using this method, you can cook a 12-pound turkey from start to finish in under an hour!

Roast Turkey with Wine and Herbs (1 HOUR total cooking time for perfectly moist, juicy turkey guaranteed!)

Fastest Way to Cook a Turkey

This recipe lets you skip carving at the table and speed up the roasting process. By cutting the turkey into parts before cooking, you get a faster and easier way to make a great roasted turkey.

This method produces an unbelievably moist turkey, full of flavor from fresh herbs and wine. Best of all,  I especially love being able to serve the turkey within minutes from the oven without waiting for it to be carved.

I served this turkey to a friend who was visiting years ago and she went crazy for it. This is now her favorite way to cook a turkey and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

While we’re on the subject of turkey, if you’re lucky enough to have leftover turkey, this Creamy Turkey Noodle Soup is comfort food at its best. It’s a down-home combination of leftover turkey meat, carrots, celery, and hearty egg noodles that’ll keep you warm on a cold winter night and perk you up when you’re feeling under the weather.

Roast Turkey with Wine and Herbs (1 HOUR total cooking time for perfectly moist, juicy turkey guaranteed!)

Turkey Seasoning

This herb roasted turkey recipe uses two different varieties of wine to bring out the best in the roast turkey. White wine is added right to the roasting pan, then marsala wine is mixed with the juices along with cranberry sauce or jam to drizzle on top of the finished turkey.

The herbs for turkey are simple and easy to find fresh in most grocery stores throughout the holidays. Sage, rosemary, and thyme add aroma and herbiness to the roast turkey that’s hard to beat. The combination of flavors is uncomplicated but incredibly flavorful.

Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the turkey along with those herbs and your bird will be ready for the oven.

sectioned turkey parts

How to Break Down a Turkey

If you use a butcher to cut up your turkey, this meal is a breeze. If you are going to section it yourself, here’s a step-by-step tutorial for breaking down the raw bird. Allow at least 15-20 minutes to section the bird, if you’ve never done it before.

Cutting the turkey into parts is the most cumbersome part of this recipe but it’s not as difficult as you might think. The nice part is that carving the turkey will be a breeze when it’s done cooking.

How to Break Down a Turkey

How to Cook a Turkey in Parts

This recipe begins by cutting your whole turkey into pieces and coating them with olive oil and herbs. You will start the drumsticks first, pouring wine right into the pan with the bird and roasting for about 15 minutes.

The turkey breasts and thighs are added to the pan skin side up and everything cooks together for another 45 minutes or until the interior of the breast reaches 160 degrees.

While the meat rests, strain the juices from the pan into a saucepan and simmer with cranberry sauce, marsala wine, and more herbs.

Serve the turkey on a platter accompanied by a small pitcher of the juices for some of the most delicious turkey you’ve ever had!

turkey wings and legs in pan

Several years ago, I wrote Simple Turkey Roasting for Beginners a.k.a. “Everything I wish I’d known that no one ever mentions about cooking turkeys.” That’s a great post to check out for tips on roasting a traditional whole bird.

I wish more people knew how easy it is to cook turkey when it’s divided into parts BEFORE cooking. It saves time in the oven and makes it easier and faster to serve.

How long to cook a turkey largely depends on its size. Dividing the turkey into parts enables the meat to cook faster as it takes less time for the heat to reach each part of the meat. That’s why this roast turkey is done after just one hour in the oven.

turkey legs and wings in roaster with wine

Roast Turkey with Herbs

You’ll start by preheating the oven to 400°F. In a large roasting pan, coat the turkey pieces with the oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and about 2/3 of the fresh herbs.

Remove the thighs and the breasts to a separate bowl. Place the drumsticks and wings in the pan skin side down. Add the wine to the pan with the turkey. Roast for 15 minutes.

turkey parts in roasting pan

Remove the turkey from the oven and turn over the drumsticks and wings. Add the breasts and thighs to the pan, skin side up.

Roast for 45 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the breast reads 160 degrees. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and tent with foil, any pinkness should fade as the meat rests.

roast turkey sections in pan

Strain the pan juices into a saucepan. Add marsala, jam, and the remaining herbs. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 3 minutes, season with salt to taste.

Pour juices into a small pitcher for serving. Carve the thighs and breast meat into chunks and arrange the pieces on a platter.

Roast Turkey with Wine and Herbs (1 HOUR total cooking time for perfectly moist, juicy turkey guaranteed!)

Leftover Turkey Recipes

My favorite part of making a roast turkey for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or another special occasion is having leftover turkey to cook with for days after.

The leftover turkey is great in the typical post-holiday turkey sandwiches, wraps, and salads of course, but I also love getting a little more adventurous with my leftovers.

sliced turkey on plate with mashed potatoes

This Southwest Turkey Salad Chopped Salad is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover turkey for a quick lunch or light dinner. Another favorite go-to salad for the day after a big holiday is this Turkey and Walnut Salad with Cranberry Dressing.

Tender chunks of savory turkey and aromatic vegetables are baked together inside of a flaky pie crust. My whole family gives this Leftover Turkey Pot Pie two big thumbs up!

Next time I make this turkey and end up with leftovers to spare, I plan to try these delicious looking Leftover Turkey Taquitos too.

roast turkey sections in pan
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How to Roast the Best Turkey in just one hour!

Want something a little different for your Thanksgiving this year, this roast turkey with herbs and wine is a great way to go. You can cook a 12-pound turkey from start to finish in under an hour with this method!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 378kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey cut into 7 or 8 pieces, about 12-15 pounds
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • cup marsala wine
  • 3 tablespoons cranberry sauce or red currant or raspberry jam

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large roasting pan, coat the turkey pieces with the oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and about ⅔ of the fresh herbs.
  • Remove the thighs and the breasts to a separate bowl. Place the drumsticks and wings in the pan skin side down. Add the wine to the pan with the turkey. Roast for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven and turn over the drumsticks and wings. Add the breasts and thighs to the pan, skin side up. Roast 45 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the breast reads 160 degrees. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and tent with foil, any pinkness should fade as the meat rests.
  • To make the gravy, strain the pan juices into a saucepan. Add marsala, jam, and the remaining herbs. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 3 minutes, season with salt to taste. Pour juices into a small pitcher for serving. Carve the thighs and breast meat into pieces and arrange on a platter.

Nutrition

Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 155mg | Sodium: 630mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 156IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg

{originally published 11/14/12 – recipes notes and photos updated 11/6/23}

recipe adapted from and with thanks to Sunshine Margaret

roasted turkey parts in pan

The post How to Roast the Best Turkey in just one hour! appeared first on Barefeet in the Kitchen.

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