Tradition calls for a roast turkey, and even with all the fun new ways to mix things up, its hard to beat a classic. Theres nothing like the aromas that waft from the oven, kicking off the anticipation for the holiday meal. Roasting a big bird is also one of the easiest ways to accommodate a large crowd. Just baste it regularly to keep the meat moist.
Makes: 10 servings
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
- 1 12- to 14-pound turkey--giblets and neck removed; bird rinsed, patted dry and at room temperature
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Aromatics like onion halves, lemon halves or sprigs of herbs such as parsley, rosemary or thyme (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees . Arrange the turkey, breast side up, on an oiled rack placed inside a roasting pan. Rub olive oil all over the turkey, then season with salt and pepper, including the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the body. Stuff the cavity with the aromatics, if using; tie the legs together.
- Transfer the turkey to the oven and pour about 1 cup water into the roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Lightly oil one side of a sheet of heavy-duty foil large enough to cover the turkey breast; remove the turkey from the oven and tent the breast with the foil, oiled side down. Lower the heat to 350 degrees ; return the bird to the oven and roast, basting every 30 minutes with the juices in the pan and rotating halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the inner thigh, about 2 more hours.
- Transfer to a work surface and tent loosely with foil for 30 minutes before carving.
- Use a shallow roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet to expose more skin for better browning.