Our take on classic roast turkey. A fool-proof, delicious recipe for your Thanksgiving table. This recipe has been adapted from Mark Bittman.
1 12-pound turkey
1 stick butter or 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup roughly chopped onion
1 cup roughly chopped carrot
½ cup roughly chopped celery
Stems from one bunch fresh parsley, tied together (optional).
1. Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Rinse the turkey and remove the giblets. Tie the legs together to enclose the vent. Smear the bird all over with butter or brush it with olive oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
2. Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. Add ½ cup water to the bottom of the pan along with the turkey neck, gizzards, any other trimmings, the vegetables and parsley. Put in the oven, legs first if you can.
3. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top begins to brown, then turn the heat down to 350 degrees. Continue to roast, checking and basting with the pan juices every 30 minutes or so; if the top starts to brown too much, lay a piece of aluminum foil directly onto it. (If the bottom dries out, add water, about ½ cup at a time; keep at least a little liquid in the bottom of the pan at all times.) The turkey is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh measures 155 to 165 degrees (see note below). If, when the turkey is nearly done, the top is not browned enough for your liking, turn the heat up to 425 degrees for the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking.
4. Remove the turkey from the oven. Take the bird off the rack and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before carving.