Herby Turkey - One of MANY ways to roast a Turkey!
It's MUCH easier than people think...don't be intimidated!
Ok...so this is just my take. The way you cook a turkey, to some people, is just as personal as what brand of toilet paper you keep in your home. ;) Controversial! So, please note....this is how I do it...how I have always done it...and it's always perfect. Not too overpowered, always juicy and flavorful. I know that some people believe in brining, and that's a great way to go, makes a great turkey.
I started cooking my turkeys back when I was working really long hours and only had the one day off. I didn't have time to brine...so I did it like this! When it turns out this good and only takes about 4 hours of cooking and a few minutes of prep, I don't see any need for tons of fuss. DO NOT be intimidated by the bird...it's really one of the easiest things to roast! To me, making great sides is much more complicated!
Regardless of what you do, you can always dry any bird out if you aren't paying attention! ALL ovens cook different, mine tends to cook just a little faster than my old one, please use my guide for roasting, but keep a thermometer (or oven probe) handy and look for those clear juices. If you find that the skin is getting too browned, cover the breast loosely with a little foil. Some turkeys have those popping timers, I don't trust those, they always seem to malfunction. I use a little $10 digital thermometer.
What you need...
a turkey, mine is a 13 lb.
1 head of garlic, you can use less but I LOVE roasted garlic
the zest of 3 lemons, reserve all lemons
the juice of 1 lemon
the zest, juice and rind of 1 orange
1 bunch of fresh rosemary
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1/4 cup Grassfed Butter, melted
1/2 cup olive oil
Move you oven racks to accommodate the turkey. Preheat to 425F. Smash and peel all the garlic. Slice onion into 3 discs. Wash the turkey, remove giblets, neck, etc. and pat dry. Place the discs of onion into a broiler pan to be a base for the turkey, so it won't burn the bottom.
Melt the butter in a medium bowl, add the zest and juice of one lemon, the zest and juice of 1 orange, 1/2 bunch of rosemary (gently chopped), 1/2 bunch of thyme (gently chopped), a few turns of salt and pepper, 3 smashed garlic cloves and mix together with a spoon. Tuck the wings under the turkey, and place it on top of the onions. Stuff the reserved lemons, rinds and orange rind, along with the remainder of herbs into the cavity and tie the legs together tightly with kitchen twine. Using your hand, separate the skin from the breast and thighs, weird yes, but slip your hand as far down as possible so you can get that buttery mixture all over the breast. Grab a handful of the butter/herb mixture and rub it under the skin and on the meat. Continue to coat all meat until herb mixture is gone and turkey it slathered with the mixture. Pull the skin back down and drizzle about 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil all over the skin. Place in oven. Roast at 425F for 30 minutes, then turn down to 325F and roast for another 2+ hours.
Generally you will cook for another 15 minutes per pound. So, 30 minutes at 425F, then 15 minutes x 13lbs. = 3 hours and 15 minutes. However, closing in on the 3 hour mark, check it to see if the juices run clear and an internal temperature on the thighs, not touching bone, is 165F. Try several places and make sure you get well into the breast. As soon as I hit 165F I pull that sucker, and let him rest.
Oh the carving of the turkey...my recommendation is to nicely ask someone else to do it, so if they butcher it, it's their fault. Haha...kidding, sort of. I am NOT a pro at this, more of a scavenger really. But here's what I do. Pull the thighs out to the side so you can see where the joint is, twist and use a knife to separate the thigh close to the joint. Do the same for each leg, cutting from the base. Once you have just the breast left, find the cartilage that separates each lobe of the breast, cut along the inside of that bone and downward around the edge of the breast. Remove the breast, with skin, slice and plate. Repeat with the other breast and you will be done!