Here I've tested out not one, but two new things – cooking a turkey at a very high heat, as well as cooking it upside-down, which I've heard for decades is the way to go if you want moist, juicy meat. Whether you're looking to cook your turkey in half the time, or just want to see some raised eyebrows when you bring it to the table, I really do hope you give this a try soon!

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
2 hrs
additional:
12 hrs 15 mins
total:
14 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
20
Yield:
1 16-pound turkey
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Ingredients

20
Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place turkey in a large pan, bowl, or tub. Remove the neck and innards and save to make a gravy, if desired. Season the inside of the turkey with 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, and then the outside with the rest, until the entire surface of the bird has a thin coating of salt crystals. Transfer to the refrigerator, uncovered, and let brine for 12 to 24 hours.

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  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Set a large foil roasting pan over a sheet pan.

  • Cut the bread loaf lengthwise into two halves. Butter generously and place buttered-side up into the prepared roasting pan, pushing bread halves together so they are touching.

  • Remove turkey from the fridge and stuff sage, rosemary, and thyme into the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and place breast-side down on top of the bread, making sure turkey is as steady and straight-up as possible. Tuck wing tips up and over the drumette.

  • Roast in the preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 2 hours. Let turkey rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

  • In the meantime, cut bread into cubes and transfer onto a serving plate; keep warm as needed. Spoon juices onto the turkey, place it on top of the bread, and carve.

Chef's Notes:

Instead of serving it upside-down, you can flip the turkey right-side up and broil it on high for about 5 minutes to brown the pale skin above the breast.

Feel free to use Italian bread instead of French.

If you don't have kitchen string, just use dental floss or a bent paper clip.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of bread and butter. The actual amount consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

633 calories; protein 76.4g 153% DV; carbohydrates 13.5g 4% DV; fat 28.2g 43% DV; cholesterol 220.7mg 74% DV; sodium 1478.1mg 59% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (8)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/03/2019
This was so easy and fast and juicy! I used a baguette under the 17lb turkey one half under the breast bone and other halves on either side of that. They were completely flattened by the turkey but I added them to my stuffing and they were fantastic. Will definitely make again. Possibly for slightly less time by just 5 to 10 minutes. Read More
(1)
10 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2019
Best Turkey ever! I followed the recipe down to the foil roasting pan. It turned out juicy and perfect! I had another turkey that I slow cooked in a slow cooker and all the guests agreed the fast upside-down turkey was more moist! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2019
My turkey was 20lbs. I followed this recipe to a tee and it was the juiciest most delicious turkey I've ever made. Everyone loved this. Unfortunately my bread got a little too squishy and tough in spots to eat but it kept the breasts moist and cushioned perfectly. I also used the make ahead gravy which was perfect a well! Will use the recipe again next Thanksgiving Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/02/2019
This was so easy and fast and juicy! I used a baguette under the 17lb turkey one half under the breast bone and other halves on either side of that. They were completely flattened by the turkey but I added them to my stuffing and they were fantastic. Will definitely make again. Possibly for slightly less time by just 5 to 10 minutes. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/30/2019
I wouldn't bother flipping it over. The skin on the back was no longer crispy after flipping and the breast skin did not have enough time to get good and crispy. We saved the bread and made simple bread dressing with it a few days later. The extra butter and turkey drippings made a divine dressing. The browned bread bits softened up during cooking and made it extra rich. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/29/2020
Made exactly as directed. The turkey came out amazingly. Juicy all the way through. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/21/2020
I was delighted to see Chef's upside down turkey. We have done this for years and the breast meat is always extra moist@@ YES!! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
04/09/2020
Incredible on so many levels. Worked perfectly, in fact a 17 lb was done sooner but we didn't have a thermometer. Didn't try the bread, just used a rack so maybe that contributed to faster cook - will try the bread another time just because it sounds delicious. Almost everyone then asked for the link to this page, all blown away at how efficient and good it was. Those of us who prefer dark even loved the white because of how incredibly juicy it was. Do season as suggested - don't skimp. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/23/2020
I have a question - I am going to do the Might Fine Turkey Brine ....can I still roast it upside down?? At this high heat or should I go the upside down low and slow?? Thanks. Read More
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