Our Classic Roast Turkey
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Rinse turkey neck and body cavities; pat dry with paper towels. If desired, sprinkle body cavity with salt and pepper. If desired, spoon stuffing loosely into neck and body cavities. Skewer turkey neck skin to back of turkey.
- Tuck ends of drumsticks under band of skin across the tail or into wire or nylon leg clamp. If there is no skin or clamp, tie drumsticks to the tail with clean 100-percent-cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under the back of turkey.
- Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. If desired, insert an ovenproof meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle. Thermometer should not touch bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil.
- Roast turkey for 2-1/4 hours. Remove foil; cut band of skin or kitchen string between drumsticks so thighs cook evenly. Continue roasting for 30 to 45 minutes more (60 to 75 minutes, if turkey is stuffed) or until the meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F and the center of the stuffing (if using) is 165 degrees F. (The juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.)
- Remove turkey from oven. Cover loosely with foil; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Carve turkey. Serve with Turkey Pan Gravy.
From the Test Kitchen
For gremolata, in a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, and a dash each of salt and ground black pepper. Prepare turkey as directed up to placing it in the roasting pan and stopping before brushing the skin with oil. Starting at the tail end of the turkey, loosen the skin on both breasts by sliding your fingers under the skin, being careful not to tear it. Slide your hand as far as you can toward the other end of the turkey, separating the skin from the meat. Rub the gremolata under the skin and over the entire breast. Brush the entire turkey with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast as directed. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 2 teaspoons chopped finely chopped fresh parsley. Baste the turkey several times during the last 15 minutes of roasting with the orange juice concentrate mixture.
For herb-butter, in a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup softened butter; 3 tablespoons snipped fresh thyme, basil, oregano, and/or chives; and 2 cloves garlic, minced. Prepare turkey as directed, up to placing it in the roasting pan and stopping before brushing the skin with oil. Starting at the tail end of the turkey, loosen the skin on both breasts by sliding your fingers under the skin, being careful not to tear it. Slide your hand as far as you can toward the other end of the turkey, separating the skin from the meat. Rub about two-thirds of the herb-butter seasoning under the skin over the breasts. Rub the remaining herb-butter mixture over the entire turkey. If desired, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast as directed.