Roast Turkey

For years, we’ve roasted turkeys stuffed and basted. We came across two recipes in different magazines and, faced with the need to produce a roast, put them both together. The method is really different; we roasted a 12-pound turkey in less than two hours.

This recipe is intended for a large turkey – 20 pounds or more. But the concept is scalable, just reduce the period you cook at high heat. I recently cooked a 10-pound turkey; 40 minutes at 425 and finished it with only another hour of cooking at 350.

15 pound/7 kilo turkey  (if frozen, thaw completely)

1 large onion, peeled and quartered

6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced


freshly ground black pepper

1 apple, unpeeled, cored and quartered

1 tbsp thyme

1 tsp sage

¼ lb/125g butter, cut in small pieces

½ cup vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 425º F/220º C.

  1. Prepare a roasting pan with a rack.
  2. Remove giblets and neck from turkey, rinse and rub a tablespoon of salt inside the cavity.
  3. Place the onion, apple, garlic, sage and thyme and a teaspoon of salt and a good quantity of pepper in the cavity. Tie up the legs, if necessary.
  4. Place the turkey on the rack in the pan. Rub the bird with salt and pepper. Scatter the butter pieces over the bird, or melt the butter and brush on. Add the vegetable broth to the pan. Place in the oven.
  5. Roast the turkey for 1/2 hour at 425º F. Use less time for smaller birds.
  6. Immediately reduce heat to 350º F/175º C. Baste the turkey with the pan juices.
  7. Allow to cook, basting every 30 minutes. After each basting, check the temperature of breast and thigh using an instant thermometer.
  8. When the temperature of the breast reaches 160º F./71º C, or the thigh reaches 180º F/82º C the bird is done. Remove from the oven, pour off the fat and make gravy with the remaining juices. Or, use our recipe for Gravy.

Sources: "Fine Cooking", October November 2002, "Cook’s Illustrated", November December 2002.

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