Roast Turkey

Yes, it's actually doable to make a traditional Thanksgiving turkey yourself! Follow these simple steps to a golden and juicy bird.

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  • Makes: 14 servings
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Roast: 3 hrs 325°F
  • Stand: 15 mins

Roast Turkey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Rinse the turkey cavity; pat dry with paper towels. Reserve neck and gizzard for gravy or discard. If desired, season body cavity with salt. Place parsley in body cavity.
  2. Skewer the neck skin to the back. Tuck drumsticks ends under the band of skin across tail, if available, or into wire or nylon leg clamp. If there is no band of skin or clamp, tie drumsticks securely to tail with clean 100-percent-cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under the back.
  3. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil. 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. Roast turkey for 2-1/4 hours. Remove foil; cut band of skin or string holding drumsticks so thighs cook evenly.
  4. Continue roasting, uncovered, for 45 to 75 minutes more or until the thermometer registers 180 degrees F; if stuffed, the center of the stuffing should register 165 degrees F. (The juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.)
  5. Remove turkey from oven. Cover loosely with foil; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
  6. Arrange turkey on serving platter. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs, oranges halves, and/or grapes.

From the Test Kitchen

*Tip:

If stuffing the turkey, omit herbs and loosely spoon stuffing into the neck and body cavities.

**Tip:

If you don't have an oven-going meat thermometer, use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of an inside thigh muscle to test the final temperature (Step 4).

Maple-Bacon Roast Turkey:

Prepare turkey as directed through Step 3. Meanwhile, stir together 1/2 cup pure maple syrup and 2 tablespoons water. After removing foil, brush maple syrup mixture over turkey. Lay 10 slices bacon over turkey (including legs and wings). Brush bacon with maple mixture. Continue as directed in Steps 4 through 6, brushing occasionally with maple mixture during roasting.

Roast Turkey with Orange-Herb Butter:

Prepare turkey as directed through Step 2, except stir together 1/2 cup butter, softened; 3 tablespoons snipped fresh sage; 2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel; and 2 cloves garlic, minced. Set aside half of the butter mixture. Before roasting turkey, slip your fingers between skin and meat to loosen skin over breast and leg meat, leaving skin attached. Lift skin and spread the remaining butter mixture under the skin. Melt the reserved butter mixture. Roast turkey as directed in Step 3, brushing butter mixture over turkey occasionally after removing foil. Continue as directed in Step 4.

Apricot-Rosemary Roast Turkey:

Prepare turkey as directed through Step 3, except stir together 1/2 cup apricot preserves, 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary. Brush over turkey occasionally after removing foil. Continue as directed in Step 4.

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Nutrition Facts (Roast Turkey)

  • Per serving:
  • 416 kcal ,
  • 15 g fat
  • (4 g sat. fat ,
  • 5 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 5 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 236 mg chol. ,
  • 169 mg sodium ,
  • 0 g carb. ,
  • 0 g fiber ,
  • 0 g sugar ,
  • 65 g pro.
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