Sara Foster's Herb-Roasted Turkey
Rinse the turkey inside and out; remove giblets and neck from body and neck cavities.Advertisement
Loosen skin of turkey breast. Place 2 Tbsp. butter and 4 sage leaves under the skin of each breast. Season turkey cavity and skin with salt and pepper. Place 2 rosemary sprigs, 1 onion, half the apple, and 4 sage leaves in breast cavity. Pour wine and apple juice in roasting pan; add remaining onion, apple, sage, and rosemary. Place turkey breast-side down in pan. Cover; refrigerated overnight.
Remove turkey from refrigerator; let stand 1 hour at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350°F. Skewer neck skin to back. Tuck drumsticks to tail using kitchen string. Tuck wing tips under the back.
Roast turkey, breast-side down, for 1 1/2 hours, spooning pan drippings on turkey every 30 to 45 minutes. Turn turkey breast-side up (using large tongs inserted in cavities and wearing heavy rubber gloves). Cut string between drumsticks. Roast 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer, spooning pan drippings on turkey every 30 to 45 minutes, until turkey juices run clear when a small knife is inserted in thickest part of thigh (instant-read thermometers should read 180°F in thigh; 165°F in breast). Lightly tent turkey with foil if the skin is becoming too brown.
Remove turkey from oven; spoon pan drippings on roasted turkey. Transfer turkey to a cutting board (reserve pan drippings for making Herb Gravy). Let turkey stand for 30 to 40 minutes before carving (temperature of turkey will continue to rise 5 to 10 degrees), and the meat will firm up for slicing.
Start with the best, fresh, natural, free-range turkey; 15 to 20 pounds, I think, are the best size.Do not put the stuffing inside the cavity, cook it separately.Preheat the oven; let the turkey stand at room temperature about 1 hour before cooking. Cook about 10 to 12 minutes per pound (15 at the most), until the internal temperature is 180° in a thigh, 165° in a breast. Let the roasted turkey stand at least 30 minutes before slicing. It will continue to cook another 5 to 10 degrees. Don't overcook; fresh turkeys cook faster than frozen, and the meat will be pinkish in color rather than brown.