If your turkey has been filled with a bag with the neck and giblets, remove the bag. Rise the neck and giblets and add them to a small pot. Cover the neck and giblets with water and bring to a simmer while you continue preparing your turkey.
Clean out anything else that may have been left inside the turkey cavity, and fully rinse the turkey inside and out. Once clean, pat it dry. Leave it out for 1-2 hours to allow it to reach room temperature. Meanwhile, you can begin to prepare the compound butter.
Prepare the turkey for the oven by slicing the compound butter, and sliding the disks of the herbed butter underneath the skin of the turkey.
Spread the rest of the compound butter over the skin of the turkey.
Slice a lemon in half, and place both halves, along with the sprigs of fresh herbs, inside the turkey. These help flavor the bird from the inside.
To keep the turkey together, you may choose to "truss" the turkey by tying it up with cotton string. While I don't normally fully truss my turkey, I do usually either tie the legs together with some baking twine. If you don't have twine on hand, you can also cut a slit in the skin of the tail part of the turkey, and slip the ends of the legs into the slit to hold them in place.
Once you've secured the legs, tuck the tips of the wings underneath them.
Rest the prepared turkey, breast side up, in a roasting pan surrounded by vegetables. I usually chop up onions, carrots, and celery to place around my turkey, and then cover them with a stock that I make from the neck and giblets (1-2 cups). You can, of course, choose to be creative with the vegetables that you use, and can add in fruits like apples and oranges to add your touch to the basic recipe.
Before placing the prepared roasting pan into the oven, lower the temperature to around 350ºF/175ºC.
If you choose to baste your turkey, do it every 45 minutes to an hour. You baste your turkey by taking the pan drippings and drizzling them over the turkey breast. You can use either a spoon or a turkey baster. I normally don't baste the turkey during the last hour of baking, and instead rub it down with olive oil or melted butter, to ensure nice, crispy skin.
Most turkeys take around 13 minutes per pound to finish baking. As you near the end of the baking time, you can start checking the temperature of your turkey. You want every part of the turkey to have reached at least 165ºF, but you don’t want to bake it so that it gets too much higher than that, or you risk baking it too long and drying it out. I usually take the temperature in two main places: at the thigh, near, but not touching the bone, and deep into the turkey breast.
Once your turkey has reached the right temperature, pull it out of the oven and let it rest for around half an hour. This will help the juices reabsorb into the meat. Now is the perfect time to take a break, admire your work, and get all of your side dishes together.
Once your turkey has rested, you can begin to carve it.
Serve it immediately. Be Thankful for your wonderful meal and your perfectly roasted turkey! Happy Thanksgiving! :)
Recipe printed from Oh, The Things We'll Make! Blog. https://thethingswellmake.com/roast-turkey-plan-perfect-thanksgiving-dinner/