This no-fail method to cooking a Thanksgiving turkey will give you a moist, flavorful and delicious holiday turkey.
|Whole turkey||1 ((from 10|
|Olive oil||2 Tablespoon|
|Coarsely ground salt||3 Teaspoon|
|Freshly ground pepper||To Taste|
1. Preheat 475 degrees F (240-250 degrees C). This is what you'll roast it at for the entire time. Since this employs the use of a VERY hot oven, make sure your oven is CLEAN before you start, AND put about 1 inch of water in the bottom of the roasting pan to reduce the risk of smoking your family out of the house.
NOTE: Even WITH a pristine oven, I still smoked out my house last Thanksgiving... so a tip to cut down on the smoke issue is to add about an inch of water (or broth) to the roaster pan...and keep replenishing it as needed. By doing this, not only was the smoking problem eliminated, but I had terrific drippings for gravy!
2. Place oven rack on LOWEST or SECOND-TO-LOWEST position in oven. The lowest position may be too hot in some ovens since it's directly above the heating elements.
3. Remove all giblets, neck, pop-up thermometer (if there is one), and any trussing (like the plastic thing that holds the legs together). Rinse turkey THOROUGHLY, inside and out with cool water, letting all water drain out of neck and body cavities. Pat dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
4. Rub the entire outside of dried-off turkey with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. I use Kosher salt because it has large, coarse grains.
5. Pull wing tips AWAY from the body, twist them and tuck them, backward, under the bird... up by its neck.
6. Using aluminum foil, form caps over the end of each drumstick. If any parts of the turkey extend beyond the pan rim, make a foil "collar" underneath to make sure drippings flow back into the pan. Do NOT tie legs together, do NOT add stuffing, do NOT close body cavity. It's probably okay to put a little seasoning in the cavity (herbs, lemon, onion) but don't fill up the cavity.
7.Pour 2 inches of water into the bottom of the pan.
8. Bake on the 2nd to lowest rack in the oven.
9. Halfway through cooking time, turn the roasting pan around 180 degrees to ensure even cooking. Do NOT flip the bird over.
10. It's done when the internal temp (in the thickest part of BOTH the THIGH and BREAST is 160 degrees. Make certain they are BOTH at temp. Sometimes the thighs take a bit longer. When done, remove from the oven.
Approximate Cooking Timing:
10-13 lbs. = 50 minutes to 1 1/4 hrs.
13-16 lbs. = 1 1/4 hrs to 1 hour 50 minutes.
16-19 lbs. = 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs.
19-22 lbs. = 1 3/4 hrs to 2 1/4 hrs.
22-24 lbs. = 2 hrs to 2 1/2 hrs.
25+ lbs. = 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hrs...or a bit more depending on how humongous it is. Are you sure it's not an ostrich you're roasting? If not, call the Guinness Book of Records.
11. Cover completely with foil and let rest 30-45 minutes before carving. The internal temp will continue to rise to the recommended 165 degrees. After resting, transfer to a platter for carving.
NOTE: There will likely be a lot of juices in the cavity. Drain them before transferring the bird to a platter. Save the juices to make gravy or moisten dressing.