How to roast a turkey.
 +Lo Chef.
Prep: 2 hours (extra if 'brining'); Cook: 5 1/2 - 6 hours; Total Time: 8 hours
Preparation: Medium, takes time
Yield: Serves 8

This recipe takes time but results in a moist and delicious turkey.

Directions for brining.
Time chart for defrosting and roasting.

  • 1 12-14 pound turkey (preferably organic and free-range, or kosher)
Turkey stock:
  • Turkey neck, gizzard and wing tips
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
Herb butter (OPTIONAL)
  • 1 stick softened unsalted butter (place in a bowl at room temperature for a couple of hours)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dry
OO Roasting pan with rack large enough to hold turkey; if brining: large pot to hold turkey that you can also fit in refrigerator.

(1 - 2 days before roasting - longer if frozen.)

Brine turkey, if desired.


(Day before)
  1. STOCK (Can be prepared ahead of time).
  2. IN a large pot place turkey neck, gizzard, wing tips, vegetables, chicken stock, salt and pepper.
  3. BRING to a boil then simmer, partially covered for a 2 to 3 hours. Strain the stock into a container and refrigerate, can be done the day before roasting.
  5. PLACE butter, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, 1 TB fresh chopped thyme or 1 tsp dry in a food processor and blend till creamy.
  6. TRANSFER to a small pastry bag or Baggie and set aside.

(Roasting Day)

  1. REMOVE turkey from fridge and pour off brine (if brining).
  2. MAKE sure that all innards and packages have been removed from inside turkey.
  3. RINSE turkey inside and out under cold running water, dry the turkey with paper towels, let sit at room temperature for 5 hours.
  4. PREHEAT oven to 375 F., rack one shelf up from bottom.
  5. SEPARATE the skin from the breast meat by gently sliding your fingers under turkey skin. Squeeze half of the herb butter under breast skin and spread as evenly as you can. Rub the remainder of the butter over the turkey.
  6. FILL the body cavity and the neck cavity loosely with the stuffing.
  7. TIE the legs and wings to the body of the turkey with string or using skewers.
  8. PLACE turkey, breast up, on rack in pan in the lower half of a preheated oven. Add 2 cups of broth.
  9. BASTE the turkey at the same time that you add the broth adding a tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/4 of white wine.
  10. WHEN liquid in pan has nearly evaporated and drippings start to caramelize (about an hour) add another cup of broth or water so that drippings do not burn. REDUCE heat to 350 F.
  11. BASTE the turkey at the same time that you add the broth adding a tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of white wine to the broth.
  12. TURN (if you can) roasting pan as well so that turkey browns evenly. You want drippings to caramelize but not to burn.
  13. IF turkey is getting too browned drape a piece of damp cheesecloth or dishtowel over the turkey. You can also use heavy-duty tin foil to cover turkey, however bird will be drier.
  14. AFTER 4 1/2 hours check the bird for doneness. Place a meat thermometer in the deepest part of thigh meat: when temperature reads 170 degrees turkey is done. Check here for roasting times.
  15. REMOVE from oven and let sit for a half hour
  16. REMOVE stuffing from neck and stomach cavity Place in warm serving bowl, leave stuffing in warm over (oven off, door ajar).
CARVE turkey

  1. PLACE roasting pan over low heat add leftover broth to pan drippings scraping all drippings with a wooden spoon.
  2. IF gravy not thick enough prepare a mixture of flour and water thickener in a small cup or bowl: add 2 TB cold water to 1 TB white flour and mix to a thick paste.
  3. SLOWLY add thickener while stirring to gravy till desired consistency is achieved.

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