Classic Roast Turkey

Classic Roast Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving! You may be ahead of the game and have already
brined your turkey, or maybe you slathered it with your favorite spice
rub yesterday. However, if you haven’t, don’t panic. There’s absolutely
nothing wrong with an old-fashioned roast turkey prepared in the
simplest way possible, as we have done here. This recipe is a boon to
cooks who are short on prep time and is also a favorite of purists who
like their turkey just the way their mothers prepared it.

Classic Roast Turkey

1 fresh turkey, 16 to 18 lb. (7.25 to 8 kg), neck and giblets removed

Olive oil as needed

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with
paper towels. Drizzle the turkey with olive oil, spreading it all over
to coat the skin, then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Tuck
the wings behind the back. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack
in a large roasting pan. Truss the legs with kitchen twine, if desired.
Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C).

Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to
325°F (165°C). Continue roasting, brushing the turkey with the melted
butter and any juices that have accumulated in the pan every 30 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, away from the bone, registers
165°F (74°C) and into the thigh registers 175°F (80°C), 2 to 3 hours
more.

Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Serves 12 to 14.

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