Karen’s Favorite Roasted Turkey

Here’s a different way to cook your roasted turkey this year

You will love this recipe! It is the method I’ve been using for my roasted turkey for over 20 years, and came from my all time favorite cookbook, Cotton Country put out by the Monroe, La Junior League. You’ll find the recipe on page 303 called Marie Louise’s Turkey Recipe. If you don’t have this cookbook, you might consider adding it to  your collection. You can find it on Amazon or at most local bookstores.

The first time you try this roasted turkey method, you may be nervous. I was and so was my mama, especially after we tasted the marinade. Trust me, even though the marinade tastes terrible, it will give your turkey a fabulous flavor. The bacon over the breast, the butter under the drumsticks, and the olive oil soaked cheese cloth are just as important. Your turkey will be moist and succulent and your guests will rave over it. Try this method, and I bet you’ll be like me and never cook a turkey any other way again.

Follow the recipe to the “T” and you won’t be disappointed. Oh yes,  don’t taste the marinade. It really does taste bad.


Prep Time

30 mins

Cook Time

4 hours



  • 1/10# Turkey
  • 1 small box of dried mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, cut in half
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • fresh parsley
  • Hickory smoked bacon
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 cups chicken stock (I make my stock with Better than Bouillon and water)

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  1. Thaw turkey in refrigerator for 3 days or buy a fresh turkey.
  2. Make a soft paste of dry mustard, worcestershire sauce, a little vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Don’t try to taste it as it tastes terrible. Rub the thawed bird inside and out with this paste.
  3. Place turkey in an uncovered roaster
  4. Stuff cavity with onion, celery, and parsley.
  5. Lay 2 pieces of bacon across the breast
  6. Stick hunks of butter in the crevices between the drumstick and body of the turkey
  7. Soak a cheese cloth or clean cotton dish towel in olive oil (this will ruin your dish towel)
  8. Lay the oil soaked towel across the breasts.
  9. Add 1-2 cups of chicken broth to bottom of roaster.
  10. Place in refrigerator over night. Cover just during the storage time.
  11. When ready to cook, remove roaster from refrigerator and remove cover.
  12. Place in 300 degree oven and bake 4 hours.  A larger turkey will need a longer cook time.
  13. Baste turkey once or twice during baking time.
  14. After 3 1/2 hours, remove cheese cloth, bacon, and lid allowing turkey to brown a bit.
  15. Using a probe thermometer, insert into thickest part of thigh.  Your turkey is done when temp reaches 185 degrees.   When thigh registers at 185, your breast should register at 165 degrees which is perfect.

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