Turkey is central to a Thanksgiving menu, the dish that all others revolve around. Make sure you’re armed with the techniques that will result in a juicy, succulent bird. One of the most important is the resting time. Don’t skimp on that.

Traditional Roasted Turkey

Turkey is central to a Thanksgiving menu, the dish that all others revolve around. Make sure you’re armed with the techniques that will result in a juicy, succulent bird. One of the most important is the resting time. Don’t skimp on that.

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh turkey 15 to 18 pounds
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1 fresh lemon halved
  • 1 apple cored and quartered
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pat the surface of the bird dry with paper towels. Mix the olive oil and butter together to form a paste. Rub all over the surface of the turkey, under the breast skin and into the cavity. Loosely stuff the cavity with the onion, garlic, lemon, apple, parsley and thyme. Season the outside of the bird with salt and pepper. Place on a roasting rack and roast for 30 minutes.

Drape a piece of oiled parchment paper over the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Roast, basting frequently until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh reaches 165 degrees. The total cooking time should be between 2½ to 3 hours. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Photo by Jodi Miller