Saturday, December 22, 2012

Salted Herbed Roast Turkey

Yield 8-12

Herbed Salt:
4 tablespoons finer-grained kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 small bay leaves, coarsely torn
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

1 14- to 16-pound turkey
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 whole lemon, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

For the herbed salt: Combine the salt, herbs, pepper, and lemon peel. 

For the turkey: Rinse the turkey inside and out (do not pat dry). Pull any fat pads from the main cavity and the neck cavity. Rub about half of the salt mixture over the outside of the turkey. Rub half of the remaining salt mixture in the cavities. Use your fingers to loosen the skin over the breasts and thighs. Rub the last portion of herbed salt under the skin. Transfer the turkey to a large bowl or plate, cover tightly, and refrigerate at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position; heat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the turkey inside and out; pat very dry. Combine the chopped onion, celery, lemon, and herbs; divide the onion mixture between the main and neck cavities. Fold the neck skin under and secure with a skewer. Use kitchen twine to loosely tie the legs together. Place the turkey, breast-side down, on a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan. Spread the butter all over the turkey. Pour two cups of broth into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 45 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven; lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Using wads of paper towels turn the turkey breast-side up. Continue to roast until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 to 170 degrees, 1½ to 2 hours longer.

Transfer the turkey, still on the roasting rack, to a rimmed baking sheet. Tent the turkey loosely with foil and let rest 30 to 45 minutes before carving and serving.

Source: adapted from CrumblyCookie
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