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A Roasted Turkey

The Most Delicious Ever!

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Ingredients:
1 Turkey, approx. 15 Lbs.
juice of a lemon
salt and pepper
olive oil or melted butter
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
the tops and bottoms of a bunch of celery
2 carrots
parsley
sprigs of fresh rosemary & thyme

**Preparation Time: About 5 HOURS. Serves 10-12

To start, place turkey in pan bring to room temperature before cooking. Remove the neck and giblet (heart, gizzard, liver), which you may use later, if you wish, for stock for stuffing. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash out the turkey with water. Pull out any remaining feather stubs in the turkey skin. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Lather the inside of the cavity with the juice of half a lemon. Take a small handful of salt and rub all over the inside of the turkey.
In this method of cooking a turkey, we don’t make the stuffing in the turkey because doing so adds too much to the cooking time. For flavor, put in inside the turkey a half a yellow onion, peeled and quartered, a bunch of parsley, a couple of carrots, and some tops and bottoms of celery. You may need to cap the body cavity with some aluminum foil so that the stuffing doesn’t easily fall out. Close up the turkey cavity with either string (not nylon string!) or metal skewers. Make sure that the turkey’s legs are tied together, held close to the body, and tie a string around the turkey body to hold the wings in close. The neck cavity can be stuffed with parsley and tied closed with thin skewers and string.
Rub either melted butter or olive oil all over the outside of the turkey. Sprinkle salt generously all over the out- side of the turkey (or have had it soaking in salt-water brine before starting this process). Sprinkle pepper over the turkey.
Place turkey BREAST DOWN on the bottom of a rack over a sturdy roasting pan big enough to catch all the drippings. Cooking the turkey breast down means the skin over the breast will not get so brown. However, all of the juices from the cooking turkey will fall down into the breast while cooking. And the resulting bird will have the most succulent turkey breast imaginable. Add several sprigs of fresh (if possible) thyme and rosemary to the outside of the turkey.
Chop up the turkey giblets (gizzard, heart, liver). Put into a small saucepan, cover with water, add salt. Bring to simmer for an hour or so to help make stock for the stuffing.
Put the turkey in the oven. Check the cooking directions on the turkey packaging. Generally, there is a recommended cooking time of about 15 minutes for every pound. For the 15 lb turkey, start the cooking at 400 F for the first 1/2 hour. Then reduce the heat to 350 F for the next 2 hours. Then reduce the heat further to 225 F for the next hour to hour and a half. If you want the breast to be browned as well, you can turn over the bird for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking, at an oven temp of 300°F.
Start taking temperature readings with a meat thermometer, inserted deep into the thickest part of the turkey breast and thigh, a half hour before the turkey should be done. The dark meat in the thigh should be about 175 F. The white meat in the breast should be 160 F to 165 F. The turkey juices should be clear, not pink.
Once you remove the turkey from the oven, let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Turn the turkey breast side up to carve it.

Making Turkey Gravy:
Scrape all the drippings off of the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour drippings into a small- er skillet. Ladle off excess fat with a gravy spoon and save for possible use later. In a separate small bowl take a quarter cup of corn starch and add just enough water to dissolve the corn starch. Beat cornstarch with a spoon to remove lumps. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the drippings, stirring constantly. You may not end up using all of the cornstarch mixture. Only add as much as you need to get the desired thickness. Allow time for the cornstarch to thicken the gravy. Add salt, pepper, sage, thyme, or other seasonings to taste.

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