The Thanksgiving season season is upon us again. In a year where large gatherings often don’t work out, we might be looking forward to something like a normal get-together around the holiday. As long as you’re doing things a little bit differently anyway, why not try a new turkey recipe? This delicious Roast Turkey made with Coke and Sprite could become the new tradition in your family.
Roast Turkey Size
So how big a turkey will you need? Calculate the size of the turkey by the number of people eating, allowing for leftovers. A good rule of thumb is 1½ pounds of turkey for everyone eating.
Thawing the Turkey
Thawing the turkey is the next big challenge. Don’t wait too long to begin thawing or you’ll end up trying to cook a frozen bird. Always thaw your turkey in a refrigerator. Allow 24 hours for every 5 lbs. A 20 lb turkey would need a full 4 days in the refrigerator. Be sure to leave the turkey wrapped and placed on a shallow dish or rimmed baking sheet to catch any juices. Check the tray often to drain any of those juices.
- 1 whole turkey (see the advice above for size)
- ½ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup Coke, room temperature
- 1 cup Sprite, room temperature
- 3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 springs fresh thyme
- Roasting pan
- Roasting rack
- Pastry brush/basting brush
- Silicon oven mitts/clean dishcloths
Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Place the roasting rack in the roasting pan.
Remove the thawed turkey from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. As it rests, remove the neck and giblets. Chop coarsely and add to the roasting pan.
Add the chopped celery, chopped onion, and thyme sprigs to the pan in an even layer.
Place the turkey on the roasting rack, breast side up. Use the pastry brush/basting brush to coat the breast side with the melted butter. Flip the turkey breast side down. Coat with butter, taking care to cover wings and thighs.
Pour the Coke and Sprite evenly over the turkey.
Place the turkey in the heated oven. Immediately reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Use the basting brush/spoon/baster to baste the turkey every 20-30 minutes.
After 1 hour, carefully flip the turkey breast side up, using oven mitts or clean dishcloths. Drain the juices from the cavity into the roasting pan.
Continue cooking, basting every 20-30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 175 degrees.
Remove the turkey from the oven. Transfer to a carving board. Allow to rest, uncovered, for 40 minutes before carving.