A 500° blast aids browning. To ensure food safety, don't stuff the turkey. Also, as with any cooking method, be sure the meat comes to 165°, and serve immediately after it has rested.
1 (12-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
9 garlic cloves, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
8 teaspoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
How to Make It
Remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Mince 3 garlic cloves; combine minced garlic, chopped rosemary, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl. Rub butter mixture under loosened skin and rub over breast and drumsticks. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Place remaining 6 garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs in body cavity. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Let turkey stand 1 hour at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 500°.
Place turkey, breast side up, on the rack of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Place rack in pan. Bake at 500° for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 250°; bake for 2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Remove from oven; cover loosely with foil. Let stand 20 minutes. Discard skin.
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I made this turkey twice, both with 12-13 pound turkeys. I followed the recipe exactly and by the end of 2 1/2 hours the turkey was still very raw. I was disappointed because both times I had dinner guests waiting and ended up cooking the turkey an additional 1 1/2 hours. It STILL was not done so I ended up cutting it and microwaving it to finish. The taste is wonderful and the initial high heat does produce a lovely color. IF I make this again I will just prepare to roast this all day.
Delicious! Family all loved it from grandmas to kids. Both the white and dark meat turned out moist, tender and flavorful. Stuck exactly to the recipe, no modifications... very easy preparation. The oven got a little smoky during the 500 degree cooking :) but I like this method of high heat then slow cooking the turkey. This is definitely a keeper for next Thanksgiving!
I've been cooking Thanksgiving turkeys for about 25 years and this was definitely the moistest, most tender, perfect looking turkey we've had. I added lemon rind to the seasonings for under the skin, tossed the lemons in the cavity and added about 1 cup of chicken broth to the bottom of the pan. My turkey weighed 20 lbs and I followed the directions, but extended the low temp cooking to a total of 3 3/4 hours (used an oven probe to know when it reached 165 degrees). This is my Thanksgiving turkey from now on.
I tried this recipe using a fresh, organic turkey weighing 13.5 pounds. Searing the turkey at 500 degrees gave the turkey a beautiful brown color and lowering the heat to 250 for 2 hours produced a turkey with a gorgeous brown skin with moist white meat and fully cooked, succulent dark meat. I put ample herb butter under the skin, which basted the turkey while it roasted. I did not open my oven at all during the entire process, except to stick an instant read thermomenter into the thickest part of the thigh, pulling the turkey out of the oven when the thigh read 165 degrees. I highly recommend this method and will be slow-roasting another turkey for my 13 guests on Thanksgiving! The turkey was definitely fully cooked. This will be the only way I'll be cooking turkey in the future!
Food safety question: The USDA recommends temperatures no lower than 325Â°F for cooking poultry. Does the 500 degree blast make this OK?? Also, how do I scale the cooking time for an 18lb bird? I would really like to try this for Thanksgiving.
Rating Note: I would love to have an "unrated" option, but the system forces a star rating.
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