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YIELDS:

8 – 10 servings

PREP TIME:

2 hours 30 mins

COOK TIME:

3 hours 30 mins

TOTAL TIME:

6 hours 0 mins

ingredients

1 12-15 Lb. Fresh Whole Turkey

1 cup of softened unsalted butter, melted, plus 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature

1 Bottle of Dry White Wine (750-ml)

1 Bunch of Fresh Sage

1 Bunch of Fresh Rosemary

1 Bunch of Fresh Thyme

1 Lemon cut in half

2 Tsps. Salt

2 Tsps. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Rinse your turkey with cool water and be sure to remove the giblets from the inside of the turkey. (Save for your turkey stock). Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and be let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours. (This ensures the turkey will roast evenly.)
2. Heat the oven to 450 degrees and place the oven rack on the lowest level. Combine the melted butter and white wine in a bowl. Fold a large piece of cheesecloth so it fits in the mixture. Let it soak for about two minutes.
3. Place your turkey, breast side up on a roasting rack in a heavy roasting pan. Fold the wings under the turkey. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the turkey. Stuff the fresh herbs and lemon halves into the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine (I tie a bow so that it is easy to get it off when it comes out of the oven.). Fold the neck flap under the turkey and secure with toothpicks. Rub the turkey with the remaining 3 Tbsp. of softened butter and sprinkle all over with the remaining salt and pepper. (Season heavily….there is a lot of turkey.)
4. Take the cheesecloth out of the liquid and squeeze out excess but leave it very moist. Spread if over the Turkey breast and about half way down the sides of the turkey. Put into the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Using the butter mixture in the bowl and a pastry brush, baste the areas covered with cheesecloth and all exposed area. Reduce over to 350 degrees and continue cooking for another 1-½ hours. Be sure to baste the bird every half hour with the wine and butter mixture. Watch your pan’s juices. If it gets full, spoon out some of the liquid. DON’T throw that out. It is great in gravy or added to my easy Mushroom Turkey Gravy. (See recipe in the SIDES category or Thanksgiving menu).
5. You can remove the cheesecloth at the two-hour mark and toss it. Rotate your pan in the oven to ensure even roasting. Baste the bird with the pan juices or wine butter mixture if there is any left. You will continue cooking for about ½ – 1 hour more but you need to start checking the internal temperature.
6. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Don’t touch the bone. The temperature should be 180%. If the legs aren’t done yet, keep basting with warm pan juices and continue to roast for another ½ hour. Check thigh’s temperature again.
7. When it reaches that perfect temperature and is golden brown, remove from the oven and let rest covered at least 30 minutes. Move to a cutting board or serving platter, carve and enjoy.
NOTES: I have been making my turkey the same way for years. I adapted the recipe to a smaller turkey (I believe this one originally called for a 20lb bird.). I’ve learned over the years that a smaller turkey cooks more evenly and you have a much better chance of NOT OVERCOOKING the breast meat while trying to get the legs and thighs cooked. Need more turkey? I recommend cooking two smaller birds rather than one big one.

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