• 1 turkey, 10-25 lbs.

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 3-6 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil

  • optional, 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning

  • 1 recipe turkey dressing, freshly made and still hot, if stuffing the bird

Preheat oven to 325°. Set oven rack to lowest level in oven.

Open the front and rear cavities of the turkey and remove the neck and giblet package. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and thoroughly dry with paper towel. Season the turkey cavities with salt and pepper. Fill the cavities loosely with the hot dressing. Seal the cavities with either a large needle and thread or small skewers. Then season the entire outside of the turkey with salt, pepper and optional poultry seasoning. Brush generously with the melted butter or olive oil.

Using a large roasting pan with a V-rack insert, place the turkey breast side down on the V-rack and place in the oven. Use the following timing chart to gauge the estimated cooking time of your turkey:

  • 10-12 minutes per pound unstuffed.

  • 12-15 minutes per pound stuffed.

Calculate your total cooking time. For example, using a 15 lb. stuffed bird requires a maximum cooking time of 3¾ hours. Plan to turn the turkey to breast side up at the halfway point of your cooking time. Using our example, this would mean turning the turkey at about 1 hour and 52 minutes. To accomplish this task, remove the roasting pan from the oven and insert 2 large serving forks at the front and the rear of the bird. Lift the turkey off the rack and turn it until the breast is pointing up. Place back on the rack and back in the oven.

It is best to baste the turkey every 30 minutes during the cooking process. Use either a pastry brush or a basting bulb. Soak up the accumulated juices in the roasting pan and spread generously over the bird.

Unfortunately, the temperatures for doneness are different for the white and dark meats. White meat is done between 160-165°; dark meat is done between 170-175°. To check for doneness, run a large metal skewer or accurate meat thermometer vertically in the seam between the breast and the thigh. Temperature should read above 170° at the thickest spot and any juices that run, should be clear. In addition, it is recommended to run the same test in the center of the dressing. Temperature should read in excess of 160°.

Remove from the oven when done. Turkey should be allowed to rest between 10 and 30 minutes before carving. All dressing should be removed from the bird and held warm if not served immediately.

Optional: At the time you turn the turkey to breast side up, you may wish to add some roughly chopped carrots and celery to the roasting pan. This can prove an effective flavoring when proceeding to the giblet gravy.

Turkey Stock

  • 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

  • 2 turkey wing drummettes

  • turkey neck, heart, and gizzard (optional)

  • 3 cups chopped yellow onion

  • 2 cups chopped carrot

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • stems from 1 bunch fresh parsley

  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs or 2 teaspoons dried

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • ¾ cup dry white wine, dry sherry; or tawny Port

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Warm the oil in a stockpot over medium high heat. Brown the turkey well, turning once or twice, about 14 minutes. Stir in the vegetables and herbs. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pot occasionally, about 15 minutes. (If making giblet gravy, remove the heart and gizzard at this point and reserve.) Add the broth, wine, salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook for 35 minutes.

Strain the stock, pouring it through a sieve into a large bowl. If using right away, spoon off the visible fat or pour into a fat separator. Otherwise, let cool for about 30 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Using a large spoon, remove the solid fat from the top of the stock and discard. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Makes about 7 cups


Giblet Gravy

  • 7 cups turkey or chicken stock

  • ¼ cup cornstarch

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • reserved turkey giblets

To make the gravy, place the roasting pan with the pan juices and vegetables over 2 burners and turn the heat to medium-high. Add all but ¼ cup of the turkey stock to the roasting pan and bring to a brisk simmer. Stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, about 5 minutes.

Pour the contents of the pan through a sieve set over a large bowl, pressing hard on the vegetables with the back of a large spoon to extract all the liquid; discard the solids. Spoon off as much of the fat from the liquid as possible, or pour the liquid into a fat separator and pour off the liquid. Transfer the liquid to a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and simmer briskly for 5 minutes.

Finely chop the heart and gizzard reserved from making the turkey stock and, if desired, the reserved uncooked liver. Reduce the heat to low and stir the giblets into the gravy. In a small bowl, stir the remaining ¼ cup stock into the cornstarch to make a slurry. Gradually stir the slurry into the gravy. Cook until the gravy thickens, 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 8-10