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Prep 24 hrs
Cook 3 hrs
When I was in Ethiopia, I was not introduced to Turkey meat and I never cooked it. The first year in the United States, I roasted chicken with some other dishes and celebrated Thanksgiving. The following year, my best friend Carole gave me her recipe. Initially, I followed hers and gradually changed to my own. This is one of my family favorite roasted Turkey:
- 1 (20 lb) whole turkey
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 cups vegetable broth or 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups apple juice or 2 cups apple cider
- 2 red apples (sliced)
- 4 lemons
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- salt and black pepper
- Place the turkey as wrapped in the refrigerator for a day or two to defreeze.
- Unwrapped the turkey and place outside in a big pot; cover it with cold water, change the water every 30 minutes (it will take at least six hours to thaw);.
- Stick your hand in the cavity and remove any organs, or "things" you may find inside of the turkey cavity and trim excess fat.
- Under cold water, rub the turkey gently with your fingers to make sure it is clean.
- When the Turkey is clean, soak it with two squeezed lemon juice for 30 minutes and rinse the turkey, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Place the turkey, breast side up on roasting pan with rack.
- Into main cavity, sprinkle squeezed fresh lemon juice; add lemon peels and 1 bunch fresh thyme cavity. Fill the turkey body (main) cavity with apple slices.
- Tuck wings; tie legs together.
- Mix the paprika, garlic, black pepper and salt.
- Rub the skin and the cavity with the softened butter or oil, and season well with the mixed spices.
- Combine the apple juice, honey and the chicken or vegetable stock; stir until honey dissolves.
- Pour 3 cups of the mixed stock into the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Cover the turkey with an aluminum foil making it like a tent.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place turkey in oven and start roasting; remove aluminum foil after 2 ½ hours.
- Cover the turkey generously with the juices on the bottom of the pan; repeat glazing every 20 minutes. Whenever the drippings evaporate, add stock to moisten them, about 1 cup at a time.
- Roast until turkey is deep brown and thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F, it will take 2 ½ to 3 hours.
- Transfer the turkey to a large cutting board; remove the stuffing (the Apple slices, lemon peels and thyme) and let it stand for at least 20 minutes before carving. Serve it warm.