Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for Giblet Gravy, if desired. Rinse turkey thoroughly with cold water; pat dry. Combine salt and pepper; sprinkle over surface and in cavity of turkey.
Close cavity of turkey with skewers. Tie ends of legs to tail with string or tuck them under flap of skin around tail. Lift wingtips up and over back, tucking under bird securely.
Brush entire bird with melted butter; place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in breast or meaty part of thigh, making sure thermometer does not touch bone. Bake at 325° for 4 1/2 to 5 hours or until meat thermometer registers 185°. Baste turkey frequently with pan drippings. If turkey gets too brown, cover lightly with aluminum foil.
When turkey is two-thirds done, cut the cord or band of skin holding the drumstick ends to the tail; this will ensure that the insides of the thighs are cooked. Turkey is done when drumsticks are easy to move.
Transfer turkey to serving platter. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.
Note: Leftover turkey may be refrigerated for later use.
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