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"A Piece of Turkey" Easy Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 hr 5 min (includes brining and resting times)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 10 to 15 servings
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One 14-pound turkey

3/4 cup kosher salt

2 stalks celery, roughly chopped 

1 yellow onion, cut into thick slices 

1 container fresh poultry herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, etc.)

1/2 bulb of garlic, cloves intact 

Freshly cracked black pepper 

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pats


Special equipment:
an instant-read thermometer
  1. Ask your butcher to cut the turkey into pieces: legs, thighs and wings separate and an attached double breast. Put the pieces skin-side up on a wire-racked roasting pan and thoroughly rub the kosher salt under and over the skin. Leave lightly covered in the fridge for 2 days, but as all dry-brining methods go, uncover for the last 6 to 8 hours to "dry out" the skin.
  2. When ready to roast, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Put the turkey pieces skin-side up in the roasting pan (no rack), then arrange the celery, onions, herbs and garlic in between the pieces. Season with freshly cracked pepper and dot everything, especially the turkey skin, with tablespoon-size pats of butter.
  4. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees F and continue to cook until the breast registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, another 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let rest, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  5. I recommend traditionally carving the breast, hand-shredding the thighs and serving the other pieces on the side.
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