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Crispy-Skinned Herb-Roasted Turkey

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 days 4 hr 40 min (includes seasoning, drying, standing and resting times)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
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One 12- to 14-pound fresh Amish turkey

3 tablespoons kosher salt 

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic 

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

6 fresh bay leaves 

2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed 

Zest from 1 orange 

1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 


  1. Three days before cooking the turkey, rinse, clean and dry the turkey thoroughly.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the salt, granulated garlic, black pepper, bay leaves, thyme, orange zest and rosemary until still coarse but uniform, about 10 times. Rub the inside of the turkey with the salt mix. Then carefully slip your fingers under the breast skin and rub a liberal amount UNDER the skin. Flip the turkey on its side and sprinkle more of the salt mixture on the thigh, wing and leg. Repeat on other side.
  3. Place the bird in a large zipper-top bag or brining bag. (If neither is available, cover in plastic wrap.) Place the bird on a wire rack on a sheet pan breast-side up, and place in the fridge away from any raw food (on a lower shelf). Leave in the fridge for 3 days.
  4. On the night before cooking, remove the turkey from the fridge and take it out of the plastic. The skin should be dry and the salt should be dissolved. If any large patches of moisture are present, wipe with paper towels. Place back in the fridge, uncovered, for another 8 hours to dry out.
  5. On the day of, take the turkey out of the fridge 1 hour before cooking.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Fit a roasting pan with a wire v-rack.
  7. Put the turkey in the roasting pan and brush with the melted butter. Roast for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 325 degrees F and roast, basting occasionally, until the thigh registers 165 degrees F, about another 2 hours. Let the turkey rest for 30 to 45 minutes before carving. 
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