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Tan-Line Thanksgiving Turkey

This Turkey Is Ready For a Poolside Margarita

I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving, and living in Los Angeles, all I can think about is going to the beach. I know, it's not something most people are thinking about this time of the year, but I can't help it. So I thought why not make a turkey to match my mood? This fun tan-line turkey is not only tasty, but fun to make!

Tan-Line Turkey

From Skylar Thomson, POPSUGAR Food

Tan-Line Turkey


  1. 1 whole turkey, about 12-14 pounds, thawed
    1 tablespoon sweet paprika
    1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    1 tablespoon granulated garlic
    2 tablespoons kosher salt
    Zest of 1 lemon
    1 large sweet onion, quartered
    2 small honey crisp or gala apples, quartered
    2 whole lemons, quartered
    10 sprigs fresh thyme
    2 cups water, divided


  1. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey cavity and dry the entire turkey using paper towels.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together all seasoning ingredients and set aside. Apply half of the spice rub to the back of the turkey and inside the cavity leaving the breast side bare. Tuck the wings behind the neck to make it look like the turkey is ready to sunbathe!
  3. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan, preferably on a rack or on a coil of foil, and add 1 cup water to the bottom of the pan. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  4. Using two pieces of foil, folded in half, cut out a bikini shape for the turkey to wear in the oven! Use a halved lemon as a template for the top making sure the foil "strings" are long enough to reach around the turkey breasts. Use toothpicks to secure the bikini top and bottom onto the turkey.
  5. Place onions, apples, lemons, and thyme into the front and back cavities and close by securing the skin using toothpicks. Carefully press the remaining rub on the breast side of the turkey, being careful not to get any spices under the foil bikini. Make sure every crevice is seasoned.
  6. On the middle rack of the oven, bake the bird at 400ºF for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350ºF and continue to roast until an oven thermometer reaches 165ºF in the thickest part of the thigh, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours depending on the weight of the turkey. If the turkey begins to brown too quickly before the oven thermometer reaches 165ºF, tent the top with a piece of foil and continue to roast until cooked through. Rotate the turkey after about 1 1/2 hours and add the additional cup of water to the pan if necessary.
  7. Fifteen minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the foil bikini. Once the tan lines have browned slightly and the bird is cooked through, Remove from the oven and cover the entire pan with foil, allowing the turkey to rest for 30 minutes before carving.
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