How to Roast a Perfect Turkey
- 1 (14 to 16 pound) turkey
- 4–6 tablespoons butter
For the aromatics
- 1 apple, coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, quartered
- 8 cloves garlic, left whole
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 8 leaves fresh sage
- Preheat the oven to 500°F.
- Remove any giblets, neck pieces, and other innards that may be inside the turkey’s cavity and set them aside. Giblets are great for gravy or as a special treat for your pet. The liver is perfect for pâté and save the neck for making stock or soup.
- Place the bird on a V-shaped roasting rack inside a roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels.
- Place the aromatics into the turkey’s cavity. Rub the butter under the skin generously as far as you can reach.
- Roast the turkey on the lowest level of the oven at 500°F for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, and roast until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast reads at least 161°F and the thigh reads 180°F. (Yes, I know that salmonella is killed at 165°F, but the temperature will continue to rise once it’s removed from the oven beyond that 165°F, so all is well.) A 14 to 16 pound bird should require an additional 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting, but don’t open the oven to check until at least 1 hour 45 minutes have passed to keep the heat even.
- Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15-30 minutes before carving. This helps ensure it will be moist, so absolutely do not skip this step!
- Discard the aromatics, then carve and serve.