Only a week to go until Thanksgiving! Do you have your turkey lined up? It is, after all, the centerpiece of Thanksgiving dinner:
This is a fairly simple, straightforward way to roast a turkey, taken from the always excellent How to Cook Everything. It uses very high heat to start, which means nice, crispy skin; plus, it only takes 3 hours to roast a 12-lb. turkey, which means you get to sleep in a little the morning of Thanksgiving. My only complaint is that it was a little bland; next time, I'll try brining. However, the skin was crisp and the meat was moist.
One 12-ish pound turkey
Stuffing, if desired
1/4 c. olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 onion, roughly chopped
1-2 carrots (peeling optional), roughly chopped
1 rib celery, roughly chopped (can use leaves, too)
1 bunch parsley (optional), tied together
1. Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees. Yes, all the way up. Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavity; remove clip holding legs together, if necessary. Spoon stuffing (if using) into cavity; tie legs together. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Place vegetables into large roasting pan.
Put the turkey on top. Add 1/2 c. water, stock, or apple cider to pan.
3. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until the breast begins to brown; turn the heat down to 350. Baste every 30 minutes or so; if top looks too brown, cover with heavy duty foil. If the bottom dries out, add 1/2 c. water. Roast for an additional 2 hours or so, checking the temperature when you baste.
4. When the thigh reaches 160, remove from oven; turkey will continue to rise in temperature. Check thigh in several places to make sure that it has reached 160 with an instant-read thermometer. Also check the stuffing with an instant-read thermometer; if it has not reached 160 degrees, scoop it into an oven-proof dish and bake while turkey is resting.
5. Remove turkey to cutting board; tent with foil and let rest for at least 20 minutes While turkey is resting (at least 20 minutes), make gravy using pan juices, flour, salt and pepper, thyme, and milk or stock.