Friday, November 21, 2008

Perfect Roast Turkey

1 16-18 lb. turkey
1 tbl. dried rosemary, crumbled
2 tsp. ground sage
2 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Stuffing of your choice
½ cup (1 stick) butter

Preheat oven to 375. Pat turkey dry, inside and out.

Combine herbs and salt and pepper in a small bowl; rub some in each cavity. Fill neck-cavity loosely with stuffing, close with skewer. Tuck in wings. Fill main cavity loosely with stuffing. Fold tail in over stuffing. Skewer opening; lace closed with string. Tie legs together. Place turkey breast side up on rack in roasting pan. Brush generously with melted butter. Sprinkle with remaining herb mixture. Transfer any remaining stuffing to buttered baking dish. Cover with foil and chill.

Roast turkey one hour, basting every 30 minutes with butter. Cover breast with foil. Continue roasting 1 hour, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Uncover breast and continue roasting until thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 170 degrees, basting occasionally, 1 to 1 ¾ hours longer (total time in oven so far is 3 – 3 ¾ hours), depending on size of turkey. Place stuffing in covered baking dish in oven during the last 40 minutes.

When done (remember—170 degrees) transfer turkey to platter, reserving juices in roasting pan for gravy. Tent turkey with foil and let rest 20 minutes, while you make the gravy. Continue baking stuffing in dish 20 minutes (one hour total).

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