Prep 30 mins
Cook 3 hrs
NOTE: If you purchase a frozen turkey, you must defrost it in the refrigerator, and it can take several days to completely defrost, depending on the size of your bird. Make sure you read the instructions on the turkey packaging so that you allow yourself enough time before turkey day! Also, you should never try to defrost a turkey on your kitchen counter or in the kitchen sink this promotes the growth of harmful bacteria.
- 1 (15 lb) whole turkey (2 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 1 carrot, peeled and c)
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 cup chicken stock
- 1⁄2 cup apple cider
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and fit a roasting rack inside of a roasting pan.
- Transfer the turkey to the kitchen sink and remove its wrapping. Using your hands, search inside the cavity for the neck, gizzards, heart and livers - remove these from the inside of the turkey and set aside, refrigerated, for the gravy. Rinse the turkey well inside and out with cold running water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels and transfer the turkey to the prepared roasting pan.
- Season the inside of the turkey with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the onion, carrot, celery, orange halves, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Using kitchen twine, tie the ends of the turkey's legs together as if they were trying to cross their legs. Season the outside of the turkey evenly with remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of Essence. Rub the butter evenly over the entire turkey. Transfer the turkey to the prepared roasting pan and place in the oven.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and carefully remove the turkey from the oven. Combine the chicken stock and the apple cider, and using a turkey baster, baste the top of the turkey evenly with 1/3 of the chicken-apple liquid. Return the turkey to the oven and cook for an additional 1 3/4 to 2 hours, basting twice more during this cooking time with the remaining chicken-apple liquid. The turkey should be a nice golden brown color, and the juices should run clear when you insert the tip of a knife at the joint of the leg and thigh. An instant read thermometer inserted into the joint of the leg and thigh, without touching a bone should register 165 degrees F when the turkey is cooked through. (If the turkey begins to look too browned, cover the top loosely with aluminum foil until it is done.).