10 to12 lb Butterball turkey, thawed
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tbsp each of the following:
Aromatics for inside the turkey during baking:
(for unstuffed birds)
3 celery stalks cut in half with leaves attached
1 large onion quartered (peeled or unpeeled)
Head of garlic whole or cut in half
4 bay leaves
3 to 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 orange, with peel
1/2 lemon, with peel
Thaw turkey in fridge in a pan. Depending on how much the turkey weighs, this will take about 2 to 3 days. Once the turkey has thawed, remove outer wrapping. Also, it's very important to remove giblets from neck and breast cavities. Place the parts in a Ziploc bag and store in the fridge for later use - do not discard!
Holding the turkey over the sink, gently shake out any excess liquid or ice that might be inside the bird. Place on a cutting board and using paper towels, pat the outside and inside of the turkey dry and place in roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine butter, olive oil, pepper, salt, garlic powder, thyme and poultry seasoning. Set aside.
Next, place aromatics inside turkey. With your hands or a pastry brush, cover entire turkey - front and back - with the butter, olive oil and seasoning mixture. Gently lift skin covering the breast of the turkey and apply the seasoning mixture there as well. Next, place some of the onion and garlic under the flap of neck skin and tuck the wing tips over and under the flap to secure the skin. Take a small piece of twine and tie the drumsticks together (if possible prepare the turkey the night before).
Adjust rack to lowest position in oven. Remove all other racks. Preheat to 325 degrees.
Place a tent of aluminum foil over turkey and cook for 2 hours. Remove the foil (keep foil on tips of the wings, top of breast and drumsticks) and increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F and continue cooking for about 45 more minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 180 degrees F in the deep part of the thigh of the bird.
Roasting times will vary according to the size of the turkey. Generally 20 minutes per pound is the standard. For more tips on how to cook your turkey, go to Butterball.com.
Soak a large piece of cheese cloth in a good white wine (or chicken stock) and butter mixture place over turkey during cooking instead of aluminum foil. This will give your turkey a beautiful golden brown crispy skin. Don't be alarmed by how dark the cheese cloth becomes; the turkey will not burn!
Remember tobring your turkey to room temperature before serving. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour.
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