Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 45 mins
This is a classic recipe for making a Thanksgiving turkey that is moist and flavorful. You will find that this recipe is the most basic of recipes and there are multitudes of variations for different flavors and such. Feel free to experiment once you feel comfortable with this recipe. Times are approximate. If your turkey is pre-basted or kosher, don't bother with brining since the meat will be too salty. If it is natural, free-range or organic, go ahead and brine the turkey for a moist and delicious bird.
- table salt
- 1 (12 -14 lb) fresh turkey, rinsed thoroughly, giblets and neck reserved for gravy, if making
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Dissolve 1 cup salt per gallon cold water for 4 to 6 hour brine or 1/2 cup salt per gallon cold water for 12 to 14 hour brine in large stockpot or clean bucket. Submerge turkey completely and refrigerate for predetermined amount of time.
- Before removing turkey from brine, adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line large V-rack with heavy-duty foil and use paring knife or skewer to poke 20 to 30 holes in foil; set V-rack in large roasting pan.
- Remove turkey from brine and rinse well under cool running water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Tuck tips of drumsticks into skin at tail to secure and tuck wing tips behind back. Brush turkey breast with 2 tablespoons butter. Set turkey breast side down on prepared V-rack and brush back of turkey with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Roast 45 minutes.
- Remove roasting pan with turkey from oven (close oven door to retain oven heat). Using clean potholders or kitchen towels, rotate turkey breast-side up. Continue to roast until thickest part of breast registers 165 degrees and thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees on instant read thermometer, 50 to 60 minutes longer. Transfer turkey to carving board and let rest 30 minutes. Carve and serve.