Maria Bello’s Roasted Turkey
12 lb. turkey (preferably organic and free-range)
1 cup herb butterrecipe on following slide
4 cups store-bought stuffing, made according to package instructions
Salt and pepper
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 cups chicken stock
Garnish: 2 oranges, sliced, and 1 bunch dandelion greens
1. About 5 hours before serving time, remove giblets and neck from inside turkey cavity.
2. Rinse bird inside and out with cold water; pat dry.
3. Slide a rubber spatula between skin and breast meat to separate. Pipe half the herb butter under skin of both breasts, spreading evenly over entire breast area with fingertips. Rub remaining butter over skin of rest of bird.
4. Fill cavity loosely with stuffing. Truss bird with butcher's twine; season with salt and pepper.
5. Spread sliced vegetables over bottom of a large roasting pan. Lay turkey on top, breast side up. Add 1 cup stock to pan.
6. About 4 hours before serving time, preheat oven to 375°F; position rack in lower half of oven. Roast turkey for 1½ hours (a 12 lb. turkey takes between 3½ and 4 hours to cook—plan accordingly!). Turn the pan every half hour or so to ensure that turkey is browning evenly, adding more stock if liquid evaporates below ¼ inch in pan. (If turkey browns too rapidly, create a tent with aluminum foil and drape it over turkey breast for remainder of roasting time. Reduce temp to 325°F and roast for 1½ hours more.) Use a thermometer to test internal temperature of thigh—it's cooked through at 165°F or when juices run clear if thigh is pierced with fork.
7. Remove turkey from oven to a platter to rest for 30 minutes while you prepare gravy. When ready to serve, garnish turkey with orange slices and greens.
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