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Cook4 hrs 30 mins
This was the very first turkey I ever made (Thanksgiving '07.) I broke down the recipe into detailed steps so it was super easy to follow! (*note: stuffing recipe not included)
- 12 -14 lbs turkey
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 cup orange juice
- 1⁄4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 celery ribs, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 3 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 10 garlic cloves, skin on
- Defrost turkey completely. Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Prepare desired stuffing (about 5-7 cups for this size turkey); set aside.
- Remove any innards (kidney's, neck etc), and excess fat from the neck or chest cavity then rinse thoughroughly with cool water; pat dry.
- Combine the butter, orange juice, maple syrup, thyme, salt & pepper in a microwave safe bowl. Heat to melt (30-60 seconds).
- Stuff chest cavity loosely and secure skin flap by making a small hole just big enough to strech over the leg bones. If the skin flap has been removed, don't worry, the turkey will be tented with foil.
- Set turkey in roasting pan (i didn't use a roasting rack but you can if you like!) Pour in 1 cup broth and 1 cup water.
- Using a baster, inject some maple butter under the breast skin until a bubble forms. Push the bubble around a bit to spread it out.
- Baste the turkey with more maple butter and set aside any extra.
- Put on middle rack of oven, uncovered, for the first 30 minutes. At that time baste and cover tukey with a foil tent and continue to baste every 30 minutes.
- After 2 hours of cooking add veggies, bay leaves and garlic around the turkey. Add additional cup of brothand any extra maple butter. Again, continue basting every 30 minutes.
- This size turkey should take about 4 hours to cook. During last 30 minutes, remove foil to let skin crisp up.
- You'll know the turkey is done when the drumsticks move loosely in sockets and a temperature of 160 F is reached in the thickest part of the thigh.
- Set turkey on carving board and refoil, let rest for 30 minutes before carving.