You must try this for your holiday turkey, you will not be disappointed! This is the only way we make turkey, EVER! Especially since oven space is valuable around the holidays. Why high heat? Heat cooks. Opening the cavity will allow the heat to cook the bird from the inside as well as the outside. Seasoning? Why? Herbs and spices create a crust on the skin that seals in the flavor and juices, you pick what seasoning. Breast side down? Why? The rack keeps the turkey from steaming on the bottom of the pan. Why metal? It conducts heat better than glass or ceramic. Why foil? High heat can cook too well. Loosely covering the top of the turkey will keep it from burning. Why liquid? To catch the juices and fat as they drip from the turkey so that they will not burn from the high heat of the oven and stick on the bottom of the pan. You will be able to use this liquid as a base for your gravy. 5 rules for HHT: 1) Don't salt!!!!!!!! Why suck the moisture out? 2)Don't let the bird touch the pan! We want to roast, not stew. When it sits on the bottom of the pan, instead of a rack, or it is squeezed into a too small pan, the hot air is unable to envelop the turkey, causing it to cook in it's own juices 3)Don't Baste the bird! It will break caramelization, slow down cooking and use up the pan juices 4) Don't poke with a fork to turn or check the bird! Piercing the meat will allow the flavorful meat juices to escape 5) Don't cover the bird with cheesecloth! We don't care what Martha says, covering the bird with cheesecloth will prevent browning. It will make a mighty tasting cheesecloth, though, if you are into that kinda thing! Then spoon the stuffing in. What about stuffing? Use Chef Marc's easy method: Using oven mitts, place the turkey, cavity up, into a five-gallon plastic container From Chef Marc on KGO-AM.
- Dry a 16 to 18 lb. turkey inside and out with paper towels.
- Oil the turkey inside and out with any kind of vegetable oil (olive, canola, etc.) using your hands.
- Cut away any excess skin around the opening of the cavity and wedge a fork inside the cavity to open it further. Leave the fork in to keep cavity open.
- Rub spices, herbs, or just pepper all over the bird with your oily fingers.
- Place the turkey, breast side down on a rack in a large metal roasting pan.
- Cover the top of the turkey, including legs and wings with greased foil.
- Pour ¾-inch of chicken or turkey broth in the bottom of the pan. As the turkey cooks, check the liquid every 45 minutes and add more in case it evaporates.
- Cook the turkey at 500° to 525° for 2 hours.
- Remove foil, stuff the turkey with cooked stuffing and return it to the rack breast side up.
- Cook the turkey 30 to 45 minutes longer until an instant-read thermometer stuck deep in the thigh reads 175°.
- Let the turkey rest at least 20 minutes, this allows the meat to reabsorb its juices.