Thanksgiving, for me, conjures memories of my family getting together, laughing, eating, catching up with one another’s lives, watching the Macy’s Day Parade on television and my grandmother (followed in later years by my mom) stressing over the meal.
The roasted turkey recipe here is simple and traditional, yet elegant. It goes with most any side dishes and is straightforward to prepare, so while it won’t guarantee that the cook doesn’t share my grandmother’s stresses of cooking for the holidays, it will ease the concern that the center of that meal won’t be the source of that stress.
Classic Roasted Turkey
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Neck and gizzard reserved from one 13 to 14 pound turkey
- 2 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 fresh thyme sprig
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 parsley stems
- 6 cups water
- 1 (13- to 14-pound) turkey, rinsed, patted dry
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium Golden Delicious apple, quartered, cored, coarsely chopped
- 3 ½ tsp coarse kosher salt, divided
- 1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
- Leaves from 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- For stock, heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add neck and gizzard; sauté until lightly browned. Add celery, carrot and onion; sauté until browned, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add herbs and water and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 1 ½ hours. Strain stock into large measuring cup and reserve; discard solids.
- Place turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. Mix onion, apple, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and thyme in bowl. Spoon mixture into main turkey cavity. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Rub oil all over turkey; sprinkle with 3 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
- Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Roast turkey uncovered 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees; roast turkey an additional hour. Turn pan around; pour 1 cup turkey stock over turkey. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170 degrees, about 1 hour longer. Transfer turkey to platter; tent loosely with foil and let stand 30 minutes (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees). Reserve pan juices for gravy.
- Prepare Ahead: Turkey stock can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, cover and chill.
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