A roasted turkey can be sublime.
If you do it right.
I’ve done turkey every way I think. Smoking is great, but a long process and you need equipment. Traditional stuffed turkey is okay, but horribly dry. Brining a turkey makes it utterly moist (even the white meat) and rethinking the methodology of roasting will make it even more evenly cooked and crispy and juicy.
So pay attention.
First brine as directed here. Then drain, and leave uncovered in the fridge for 12 hours to dry out. (This is what makes the skin crispy.
When you are ready to roast the bird, follow the directions below.
- 1 10-12 lb turkey, brined and dried
- a bunch of fresh herbs (including thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley)
- 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 ribs of celery, chunked up
- chicken broth
- 1/4 c butter or olive oil
- Let the turkey sit out for a while to let it come to room temperature.
- Tuck in the wings and tie up the legs.
- Place the herbs in the cavity. (Dressing in the bird is hard to work. The raw bird contaminates the dressing and if not done correctly can be dangerous. Besides, it sucks up the moisture. So do the dressing in a pan.
- Pre-heat oven to 400°.
- Rub the turkey with softened butter or melted, or the olive oil. All over.
- Place the turkey in a roasting v-rack, BREAST DOWN and into the roasting pan. Surround with the veggies, and add broth to a depth of about 1/4 inch. You may need to add more later.
- Roast for 45 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Give the bird a quarter turn so that wing is up. Baste with juices from the pan, and return to oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove again, quarter turn to breast up, baste, and return for 15 minutes.
- Remove again, quarter turn to other wing, baste and return for 15 minutes.
- Remove again, quarter turn to breast side down, baste and return until internal temp at thigh is 175°, approximately 30-45 minutes more. (larger birds will take longer obviously)
- When done, remove from pan to serving area. Tent foil over it, and let sit for 30 minutes. DON’T FAIL TO DO THIS. (Can be kept for a good hour). Carve and serve.
Note: This method works fine for chicken as well. Ducks and Geese require a slightly different method. I’ll get to that soon.
- How to Make the Perfect Roast Turkey (thedailymeal.com)