Follow these directions for roasting your unstuffed holiday turkey. We recommend brining your turkey before roasting – Click here for brining instructions.
– Whole all-natural turkey
– Chicken or vegetable broth
– Chopped fresh herbs or ground spices to taste (optional)
– Whole garlic cloves (optional)
– Lemon halves (optional)
Choose the correct pan: For best results, use a wire rack placed in a heavy open roasting pan. The turkey should fit snugly within the pan, but with enough room to catch and access juices and liquid. An average bird (16 lb.) will fit in a 16″×12″×3″ pan.
Prepare the oven: Position the rack to the bottom third of your oven, and preheat to 450°.
Prepare the turkey: Remove turkey from refrigerator, unwrap and place on wire rack to dry and come to room temperature for one hour before roasting. Rub skin with butter, and then sprinkle and rub with minced herbs or ground spices (optional). For added flavor, rub butter and herb/spice mixture beneath skin as well. You can also add a few halved lemons and whole garlic cloves in side the cavity of the turkey, if desired.
Roast the turkey: Pour two cups of broth or water into the roasting plan. Place the turkey in the oven and reduce heat to 350°. Cooking times vary per oven, but the general rule is 13 minutes per pound. To be sure, begin checking the temperature of your bird about halfway through the anticipated cooking time.
Baste the turkey: Every 45 minutes, remove the turkey from the oven to baste. Use a spoon or baster to drizzle cooking liquids on top of the turkey. For extra crisp skin, use melted butter for the last basting (about 45 mins. before end of estimated cooking time).
Check the temperature: Check in three places: the breast, the outer thigh and the inside thigh. All should be at least 165°. If any are under temperature, continue cooking for 20 minutes and check again. If further cooking is needed for just one or two areas, cover the breast with foil to prevent overcooking.
Let the turkey rest: Drain the juices from the cavity back into the roasting pan and then remove the turkey and rack and rest on a cutting board. Let rest for 30 minutes before carving.