A Starter Thanksgiving: Roasted Turkey

A Starter Thanksgiving: Roasted Turkey
Recipe type: Entrees
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 (8 to 10 pound) turkey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Medium onion, quartered
  • 1 Head garlic, halved
  • Several sprigs fresh herbs, such as; thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sage
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 8 tablespoons Unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  1. Adjust a rack to lowest position and remove other racks. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Remove turkey parts from neck and breast cavities and reserve for other uses, if desired.
  3. Dry bird well with paper towels, inside and out.
  4. Salt and pepper inside the breast cavity and stuff the onion, garlic, herbs, and bay leaves inside.
  5. Set the bird on a roasting rack in a roasting pan; breast side up and brush generously with half the butter and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Tent the bird with foil.
  7. Roast the turkey for 2 hours.
  8. Remove the foil and baste with the remaining butter.
  9. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F and continue to roast until an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees F in the thigh of the bird, about 45 minutes more.
  10. Remove turkey form the oven and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Carve and serve with dressing.
Tips: Roasting: Roasting is a dry-heat cooking method done in an enclosed environment in which the food is cooked by hot, dry air. Use a rack so that air can fully circulate around the bird. Checking for doneness: When cooking a whole turkey, it is important to use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature. Insert the thermometer into the center of the thigh, and make sure it is not touching the bone. The final temperature should be 165 degrees F, so remove the turkey from the oven when the thermometer registers between 155 – 160 degrees F to allow for carry-over cooking. Resting the turkey: The turkey needs to rest at least 15 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute. It can rest for more than 15 minutes if you needed to wait for oven space for last-minute preparations or re-heating. Recipe Rescues: If your turkey is undercooked – Carve it into pieces or slices and return those that are not cooked through to the oven until no pink color remains and the juices run clear. If your turkey is overcooked – Carve it into pieces and briefly simmer it in a little broth or cooking liquid to re-moisten the interior. If the turkey is not defrosted, but you need to cook it now – While turkey is still in its packaging, place it under cold running water. If you have a very small turkey or just parts of a turkey, microwave it for several minutes on 50% power until thawed. If the skin is too dark – Make sure the oven rack is adjusted to the lowest position. Also, be sure to cook the turkey with a foil tent over it until the last 45 minutes of cooking. Do not remove the foil tent if the skin has already browned a lot. If the skin is not dark enough – Remove the foil tent to let it crisp and darken. Raise the oven temperature for the final 45 minutes of cooking. Or, when turkey is fully cooked, put it under the broiler for a few minutes, just until the skin darkens.


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