Classic Roast Turkey

Total Time:
4 hr 40 min
Prep:
1 hr 10 min
Inactive:
30 min
Cook:
3 hr

Yield:
8 to 10 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 12 - to 14-pound turkey (thawed if frozen)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
  • 3 sprigs sage, plus 1 tablespoon chopped leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped leaves
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Classic Gravy
Directions
  • Let the turkey sit at room temperature, 30 minutes. Position an oven rack in the lowest position (remove the other racks); preheat to 350 degrees F.

  • Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and set aside for the gravy. Pat the turkey very dry with paper towels and rub inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the onion, carrot, celery, and sage and thyme sprigs. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Put the turkey on a rack set in a large roasting pan and tuck the wings under the body.

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; whisk in the paprika and chopped sage and thyme. Let the paprika butter cool slightly, then brush all over the turkey. Transfer to the oven and roast 1 hour. Meanwhile, make Classic Gravy.

  • After the turkey has roasted 1 hour, baste with the drippings. Continue roasting, basting every 30 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 2 more hours.

  • Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest 30 minutes before carving; reserve the drippings for the gravy.

  • Photograph by Ryan Dausch


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    This recipe is featured in:

    Top Turkeys for Thanksgiving