Sure Success Moist Turkey Recipe

Moist Turkey Recipe

By: Sheilah Kaufman

I have been making this recipe for over 50 years. It is soooo moist, and makes so much gravy. This recipe is for people who are tired of dry, tasteless turkey. Twice I tried a different recipe using a "new trend," and there was a revolution among the guests and family. Now I just stick to this recipe. I also used Sauternes, until a year ago when I went to the wine store to buy a bottle (it had been about $8 for Taylor's), and found it was now about $35.  I almost fainted.  They recommended a sweeter white wine, which I now use...just can't believe I cannot use Sauternes any- more. 

Oh, some people like to bake their turkeys at 325°F and others at 350°F so adjust your cooking time accordingly. It will be a favorite any time of year. If you keep Passover, just switch to matzah instead of crackers. I chop the veggies the night before and put them in individual baggies in the refrigerator. 


  • 20 – 23 lb turkey, cleaned, with bag removed from the inside
  • 5 tbsp. paprika
  • 3 tbsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 stick melted butter or margarine
  • l lb Ritz crackers or matzah, crushed into small pieces with a rolling pin
  • 1 - 1 1/2 lbs. fresh mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 bunch celery, sliced into pieces on the diagonal
  • 4 to 5 carrots, peeled into strips
  • Butter or margarine for sautéing

The day before cooking, combine the paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning in a bowl with enough hot water to make “mud.” Rub mixture on the inside and outside of the turkey, and in both cavities. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt the butter, cool a little, and mix together with the wine and water to baste the turkey.

For the stuffing: In a large skillet, melt some butter and sauté the onions and celery, and place in a very large bowl with the crushed crackers or matzah. Melt more butter and heat as needed, and sauté the mushrooms, then add to the cracker mixture. Peel in the carrots and mix well. Stuff both cavities of the turkey with the stuffing.

Place turkey in roasting pan, pour the basting over the turkey and make a tent cover with 2 pieces of aluminum foil.

Bake at 350°F according to the cooking chart on the turkey wrapper. 20 lbs stuffed takes about 6 to 7 hours, if not a little more.

HINT: All red spices (chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, and Tabasco) should be kept in the refrigerator to avoid weevils and to stay fresher). Do not store herbs and spices near heat or light as they will lose their flavor quicker.

Image Source

For more Holiday Recipes, click here.

Moist Turkey Recipe


A popular lecturer and expert on Mediterranean cooking and Jewish culinary history and traditions, Sheilah has been a guest speaker for The Library of Congress, The National Book Festival, Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival  In addition, she is a popular lecturer for Jewish Federations, Hadassah, diplomatic groups, and Oasis, and has been a frequent guest on television and radio programs (including Martha Stewart Live) across the nation. Sheilah also does consulting and has developed recipes and served as a national spokesperson for a number of international companies. Visit Sheilah's website here!