What is Thanksgiving without Roast Turkey? This is one of the easiest roast turkey recipes so I wanted to share it with all the newbie cooks out there who are afraid to try making that thanksgiving bird. If I can do it, so can you.
-1 whole turkey
-1 - 12-16 ounce can of chicken broth
-1-2 sticks of butter (16 tablespoons)
-salt and pepper
-metal skewers or prongs or a large needle and string to sew up the bird after you stuff
-a roasting pan with a cover
-a basting brush
Unthaw your turkey for 2-3 days prior to the day of cooking to make sure the bird isn't still frozen. On the day of cooking, remember to get up nice and early. The bird needs to bake for approximately 20 minutes per pound, so you will need to calculate out when to put it in the oven.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (it will get turned down later). Remove the insides (liver, heart, neck, etc.) Wash the bird inside and out with water--the kitchen sink sprayer is very helpful here. Salt the inside of the bird--just take a small handful of salt (about 2 tablespoons) and rub it all around on the inside. Stuff the back end of the bird first and lace up the opening. You can use the short metal skewers like the rotisserie prongs, but I use a darning needle and a heavy string so I don't rip the skin of the bird. Now stuff the front of the bird in the neck opening, careful not to tear the extra flap of skin because you will need to sew this opening closed as well when you're finished stuffing. Quite a bit of stuffing will fit in the neck area so make sure you've gotten as much stuffing in there as possible. Use my Roast Turkey Stuffing Recipe and if you have any left over, you can bake it in a dish alongside the turkey during the last 30-40 minutes of the turkey baking.
Next, put several pats of butter (about 1/4 inch thick) on top of the bird and salt and pepper the outside. Wrap the legs in tinfoil to keep them from drying out. (This is my daughter's favorite part of the bird and she gets them all to herself since no one else eats the dark meat.) Place a square of cheesecloth over the top of the bird. This is used to hold the butter and moisture from basting on top of the bird long enough to seep into the bird, and makes your white meat nice and juicy. You're now ready to bake the bird! Your oven should be at 400 degrees, so place the bird, uncovered in the center of the oven. Bake it for 30 minutes. This seals in the juices and gives it that golden brown top. In the mean time, mix up your basting juice, which is one stick of melted butter and your can of chicken broth. When the 30 minutes is up, baste the bird (dip the brush into the basting mixture and spread over the top of the turkey), turn the heat down to 350 degrees and cover it. You will need to baste the bird about ever 30 minutes or so, until it's fully cooked. You've just made roast turkey. Wasn't that easy?