Classic Roast Turkey

Meet the highlight of your holiday table: this classic roast turkey recipe! With a customizable stuffing, brine, and rub combination, plus multiple methods for cooking, this easy turkey recipe will surely please your crowd.

Classic Roast Turkey
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
15 mins
Roast Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
Stand Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
Servings:
10

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Fruited Turkey Brine (optional)

  • 1 10 pound turkey

  • 1 recipe Orange and Herb Butter Rub and Glaze (optional)

  • Salt and ground black pepper (optional)

  • 1 recipe desired stuffing (see recipes, pages xx-xx)(optional)

  • 1 recipe Turkey Aromatics (optional)

  • Vegetable oil

Fruited Turkey Brine

  • 3 quart water

  • 2 quart apple cider

  • 1 cup kosher salt

  • cup packed brown sugar

  • 2 oranges, sliced

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 tablespoon crystallized ginger

  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

  • 2 teaspoon whole allspice

  • 12 cup ice

Turkey Aromatics

  • 1 medium orange, cut into wedges (leave peel on)

  • 1 medium apple, cored and cut into wedges

  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges

  • 1 small bulb garlic, top and bottom cut off to expose cloves

  • 3 sprigs fresh sage, thyme, and/or rosemary

Orange and Herb Butter Rub and Glaze

  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • 2 teaspoon snipped fresh sage

  • 2 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary

  • 2 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • cup honey

Directions

  1. If desired and if not using the Orange and Herb Butter Rub and Glaze, prepare Fruited Turkey Brine. Preheat oven to 325°F. If not brining, remove neck and giblets from turkey; discard. Rinse the turkey body cavity; pat dry with paper towels. If desired and if turkey was not brined, use Orange and Herb Rub and Glaze according to directions or sprinkle body cavity with salt and pepper. If desired, spoon desired stuffing or Turkey Aromatics loosely into body cavity. Skewer neck skin to back. Tuck drumstick ends under band of skin across the tail if present or tie drumsticks securely to the tail using 100-percent-cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under back.

  2. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil; sprinkle with additional salt and pepper. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle (the thermometer should not touch bone). Cover turkey loosely with foil.

  3. Roast turkey for 2 1/4 hours. Remove foil; cut band of skin or string between drumsticks so thighs cook evenly. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes more (60 to 75 minutes if stuffed) or until the meat thermometer registers 175°F; if stuffed, the center of the stuffing should register 165°F. (The juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.) If desired, during the last 15 minutes of roasting, brush turkey twice with glaze. Remove turkey from oven. Cover with foil; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and carve. Serve with Perfect Turkey Gravy.

Fruited Turkey Brine

  1. In a 16-quart stockpot combine the water, apple cider, kosher salt, brown sugar, orange slices, bay leaves, crystallized ginger, peppercorns, and allspice. Cover; heat over high heat until brine is steaming, stirring occasionally to dissolve salt and brown sugar. Remove from heat. Add the ice; let stand until ice melts and brine is cool.

  2. Remove neck and giblets from turkey; reserve for another use or discard. Rinse the turkey body cavity. Place turkey in stockpot with cooled brine. Weigh down turkey with several plates. Cover; chill for 12 to 16 hours.

  3. Remove turkey from brine, draining excess brine from cavity; discard brine. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Continue preparing turkey for roasting as directed in Step 1

Turkey Aromatics

  1. Once the cavity has been sprinkled with salt and pepper, insert the orange wedges, apple wedges, onion wedges, garlic bulb, and herb sprigs into the cavity. Continue preparing turkey as directed in Step 1.

Orange and Herb Butter Rub and Glaze

  1. In a medium bowl combine the butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, orange peel, salt, and pepper. Divide mixture in half. Once the turkey has been rinsed and dried with paper towels, lift your fingers between the skin and meat on the breast to loosen skin. Lift skin and spread half of the butter mixture under the skin from front to back of turkey. Continue preparing turkey as directed in Step 1.

  2. Place the remaining half of the butter mixture in a microwave-safe bowl; cover. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) until melted. Stir honey into butter mixture. Use to baste turkey during the last 15 minutes of roasting.

Grilling Directions:

For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above pan. Place prepared turkey in a foil pan on grill rack over drip pan. Cover; grill for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until thermometer registers 180°F and turkey is no longer pink, adding fresh coals every 45 to 60 minutes and cutting band of skin or string the last hour of grilling. (For a gas grill, preheat grill; reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking. Place turkey in a foil pan on rack over burner that is turned off. Grill as directed.) Remove turkey from grill. Cover with foil; let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Continue as directed in Step 3.

NA FOR Orange and Herb Butter Rub and Glaze

Nutrition analysis per serving: 116 calories, 0 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 9 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 24 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 9 g total sugar, 6% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, 180 mg sodium, 1% calcium, 1% iron

NA FOR Fruited Turkey Brine

Nutrition analysis per serving: 7 calories, 2 g carbohydrate, 2 g total sugar, 494 mg sodium everything else is 0

*Tip:

If your stockpot is not large enough for the turkey to be submerged, place the turkey in a large brining bag set in a large bowl or plastic tub.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

297 Calories
5g Fat
61g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 297
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 179mg 60%
Sodium 237mg 10%
Protein 61g
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 2.2mg 12%
Potassium 472mg 10%
Folate, total 11.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 2.2mcg
Vitamin B-6 1.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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