Turkeys have been a staple in holiday celebrations - especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. And since my family is full of cooks, we have a few family favorite recipes up our tricks for perfecting this huge bird.
Your turkey should always be 3 things - juicy, tender, and delicious! And since it's no secret that this festive bird is known for containing L-tryphtophan and causing a room of sleepy guests, we suggest keeping your guests buzzed with one of our tasty cocktails or a steaming hot cup of joe.
One 18- to 20- pound turkey
1/2 pound (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
5 fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped, plus 5 whole sprigs
5 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped, plus 5 whole sprigs
20 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons white pepper
3 lemons, halved
2 oranges, halved
1 Granny Smith apple, quartered
1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 quart turkey broth (I like Better Than Bullion's turkey base because it's rich in flavor)
Preheat oven to 350°F
Rinse the turkey under cold running water. Dry the inside of the cavity and the outside skin with paper towels. Fit a large roasting pan with a V-rack lined with tinfoil and sprayed with cooking spray. Pierce the foil with a small knife several times. Place the turkey breast side up in the rack.
In a food processor, blend the butter, rosemary, thyme, and garlic with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper until smooth.
Loosen the skin from the breast meat and rub one-quarter of the herb butter onto each breast.
Rub the lemons and oranges all over the outside of the turkey and squeeze the juices onto the skin.
Season the cavity with 1 teaspoon each of the remaining salt and pepper and stuff with the lemons, oranges, apple, onion, and sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
Rub half the remaining herb butter on the skin of the turkey.
Flip the turkey over, breast side down, and rub the remaining herb butter all ver the turkey. Season with the remaining teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Pour the turkey broth into the pan.
Roast the turkey for 3 hours, basting periodically.
Flip the bird breast side up and roast for 1 hour more.
Increase the heat to 400°F and roast for 1 hour more, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 170°F to 175°F on a meat thermometer.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board or rimmed sheet pan. Cover the loosely with foil and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
Strain the juices from the pan and serve alongside the turkey.