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Basic Roast Turkey

Yield 16 to 24 servings


  • 1 (11 1/2- to 12-pound) turkey

How to Make It

  1. Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for other uses. Rinse turkey thoroughly with cold water; pat dry.

  2. Close cavity of turkey with skewers. Tie ends of legs to tail with string or tuck them under band of skin at tail. Lift wingtips up and over back, tucking under bird securely.

  3. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in breast or meaty part of thigh, making sure it does not touch bone. Cover turkey lightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 325° for 3 1/2 hours; remove aluminum foil. Cut the string or band of skin holding the drumstick ends to the tail; this will ensure that the inside of the thighs are cooked. Bake an additional 30 minutes until drumsticks are easy to move or meat thermometer registers 185°.

  4. Transfer turkey to serving platter. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

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