Classic roast turkey

  • Time cooking time: 4 to 4-3/4 hours for stuffed bird
  • Yield Makes 24 servings

Ingredients

    1 16 to 20-pound turkey
    Desired stuffing (optional)

Preparation

    1. Thaw turkey in refrigerator, allowing time to prepare the giblet broth the day before roasting. Remove turkey legs from leg clamp or band of skin crossing the tail. If desired, remove leg clamp from body cavity. Remove giblets and neck from cavities.
    2. Just before roasting, spoon some of the stuffing into the neck cavity of the turkey. Pull the neck skin over stuffing; fasten to back with a short skewer. Loosely spoon stuffing into body cavity (no more than 3/4 cup stuffing per pound of turkey). Do not pack stuffing, or it will not get hot enough by the time the turkey is cooked. Spoon any remaining stuffing into a casserole; cover and chill. Tuck legs under band of skin, or reset legs into leg clamp. If leg clamp has been removed, tie legs together with string. Twist wing tips under back.
    3. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Place a meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle so the bulb doesn't touch bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil, leaving space between the bird and foil. Press foil over drumstick and neck.
    4. Roast in a 325 degree F oven until thermometer registers 180 degrees F and juices run clear (4 to 4-3/4 hours for stuffed bird). The center of the stuffing should be at least 165 degrees F. Add covered casserole of stuffing during the last 25 to 30 minutes of roasting. (Or, if there isn't room in the oven for the casserole, while bird is standing, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through.) Remove the foil the last 30 to 45 minutes to let the bird brown.
    5. Remove the turkey from the oven, and cover loosely with foil. Let stand for 20 minutes. Release legs from leg clamp, or snip string or band of skin. To avoid possible burns, do not remove leg clamp from the hot bird after roasting. Store leftover turkey and stuffing in separate containers as soon as possible after serving.
Notes
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