There are as many roast turkey recipes and methods as there are families who cook them. More than twenty years ago I saw a segment on CITY TV’s Cityline with Lucy Waverman, who described her “fool-proof” method. I have been using it ever since and have yet to turn out a less than stellar bird. Around the table I’m happy to take all the credit but it’s now time to share my secret. Thanks, Lucy!
Temperature: 400° F for the first hour, then reduce the heat to 375° F for the remainder of the cooking time.
Cooking time: 15 minutes per pound for the first 10 pounds, then 7 minutes per pound for each additional pound. It sounds more complicated than it is. For a stuffed, 18-pound bird, it would be: 15 minutes x 10 pounds (150) + 7 minutes x each of the remaining 8 pounds (56) = 206 minutes, or almost 3 ½ hours.
The turkey should be sprinkled all over with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and roasted breast-side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. I often take ¼ cup of melted butter with a pinch or two of the herbs/spices that I’ve used in the stuffing and brush this on the turkey before it goes into the oven. I also recommend basting every 30 minutes. The skin gets crispy and perfectly brown. When finished cooking (the internal temperature of the thickest part of a turkey thigh and of the stuffing should be at least 165º F), take the turkey out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes under a foil tent before carving.
– Michèle Bosc