Simple Roast Turkey
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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Simple Roast Turkey

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 6 hr 15 min (includes resting time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 16 servings



  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Remove the giblets from inside the turkey. Pat the turkey dry and place it on a roasting rack, breast-side up. Cross the legs and tie them together with kitchen twine. Tuck the wings under the bird and transfer the roasting rack to its pan. Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Cover the whole bird and pan with aluminum foil, tucking it all the way under the pan. Roast for the first stage for 10 minutes per pound, 3 to 3 1/2 hours for an 18- to 20-pound turkey.
  3. Meanwhile, place the butter, rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon zest and orange zest in a bowl. Mix together until combined.
  4. After the first stage of cooking, remove the turkey from the oven and remove the foil. The turkey will still be pale at this stage. Smear the butter mixture all over the skin and into the crevices of the turkey so that it is totally covered. Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh and increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Return the turkey to the oven and roast, basting every 30 minutes, until the internal temperature on the thermometer reads 165 degrees F, an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. Put the turkey on a cutting board, cover loosely with fresh aluminum foil and rest for 25 to 30 minutes until you're ready to carve, saving the pan juices for gravy.