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Basic Roast Turkey

No recipe image available.This basic recipe is perfect for a first-timer. Over time, you can try variations using stuffings, various herbs or spices rubbed on with the salt and pepper, or butter mixtures placed under the skin.

Recipe Ingredients:

12 pounds whole turkey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
  2. Wash and dry turkey inside and out. Rub turkey lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper .
  3. Cut a long length of aluminum foil, enough to wrap loosely around the turkey. Lay it across the bottom of your roasting pan with edges overlapping the sides of the pan. Place a rack on top of the foil and set the turkey breast-side up on the rack. Bring ends of foil up around turkey and crimp together along top of turkey. Foil should be loosely wrapped around turkey and crimped together at ends. Put turkey in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to 375°F (190°C) and cook until done.
  4. Use following chart to gauge time: 8 to 10 pounds: 2 2/12 hours; 10 to 14 pounds: 2 1/2 to 3 hours; 14 to 20 pounds: 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
  5. During roasting, the bird should be basted occasionally and turned 3 times, that is, rolled onto all of its sides. Open foil to do this and turn turkey first on one side, then on another, then upside down. Finally, turn it right side up and remove foil for final browning.
  6. The turkey is done when you stick a fork, knife, or skewer in and clear juice (as opposed to pink) runs out. A meat thermometer inserted into the part of the bird without touching the bone will read 180°F (approximately 80°C). Do not overcook. Remove turkey from oven and let sit 15 to 30 minutes before serving so that juices will be reabsorbed by the flesh.
  7. Carve the turkey and transfer to a serving tray.

Makes 16 servings.