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Cloth Covered Roasted Turkey

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“This is my mom's recipe. It is roasted, not steamed like you get when you cover the turkey in foil. The results are very tasty. Even the dark meat is delicious and moist. You do have to baste it often in the middle of its cooking. Make sure you use lots of butter so the cloth won't take the skin off. Recipe is for a 12 pound bird. Adjust butter and water accordingly for different size birds.”
1 turkey

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 lbs whole turkey
  • 12 lb butter, as needed
  • 14 cup flour, as needed
  • 1 cup hot water, as needed


  1. Clean and stuff turkey as usual.
  2. Cover turkey completely and thickly with butter.
  3. Dust completely with flour.
  4. Take a clean white cotton cloth or a triple layer of cheese cloth large enough to completely drape over turkey and soak it in a mixture of hot water and the remaining butter (melted). If you want to, you can substitute broth or vegetable oil when you soak the cloth.
  5. Tie up turkey's wings like a belt with cotton twine and also tie legs together.
  6. Place in roasting pan with wings down and legs on top.
  7. Cover loosely with the cloth, covering all exposed parts. You can cut a hole in the cloth to stick in the thermometer.
  8. Pour any remaining liquid into the bottom of the pan.
  9. Baste every 15 minutes with juice in the bottom of the roasting pan. If there is no juice, use hot water/broth with oil/melted butter to baste.
  10. Remove cloth for last 1/2 hour if necessary to brown skin. You can salt and pepper the bird at this stage if you want to.
  11. Cook at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes per pound.
  12. Let set for 15-20 minutes after cooking so juices will settle back into the meat. You can cover it with the pan lid or foil at this point to keep it warm. This is when you make the gravy.

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