1 12 to 14 lb turkey (or larger if desired)
Prepared package of stuffing mix
1 stick of unsalted butter (room tempature)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degress.
2. Cut plastic wrapping, remove the neck and package of gizzards, wash the turkey thoroughly inside and out with cold water. Set aside neck and gizzards to make turkey stock later.
3. Place the turkey on a cutting board with the legs up. (Note: If your turkey has a pop-up thermometer, that side should be on top.) Legs should be clearly visible and not under the turkey. Bend the two wings back under the rear of the turkey.
4. If desired, push your hands underneath the turkey skin to loosen it. Place fresh herbs, such as thyme or sage, under the skin prior to cooking for added flavor.
5. Take the cool stuffing mixture that has already been prepared (be sure that it is about the same temperature as the turkey) and using hand fill the main cavity. Do not overstuff the turkey, as this will prevent it from cooking properly.  Tie up the two legs to help hold the stuffing in the turkey during cooking. Note: Cook any extra stuffing in a covered dish for about an hour.
6. Spray roasting pan and rack with oil before putting the turkey on the pan. Cover the outside of the turkey with one stick of butter.
7. Spread butter over the entire surface of the turkey.
8. Cover the turkey completely in aluminum foil, making an airtight seam so that the turkey cooks seal tight in the pan.
9. Cook turkey for 3 ½ hours before checking the temperature of the meat. Remove foil covering for the last 230 minutes of cooking time and the turkey skin will brown.
10. Allow to sit for at least ½ hour, allowing enough time to use the pan juices to make gravy.
Recommended Turkey Cooking Times:
8-12lb Turkey   3-3 ½ hrs
12-14lbs            3 ½ -4 hrs
14-18lbs            4-4 ½ hrs
18-20lbs            4 ¼ -4 ¾ hrs
20-24lbs           4 ¾ -5 ¼ hrs
Recipe courtesy of Julie Geary, Classic Cooks Catering, 2009.

You may only cook a turkey one day a year but Julie Geary shows that it is actually easy to make a perfectly cooked bird, brown on the outside and fully cooked and moist on the inside. Her secret is the technique of using butter, lots of it, and coat the entire surface of the outside of the turkey.
Cover completely with aluminum foil and cook the turkey up until the last half hour covered with the aluminum foil. Remove the foil and when you unwrap the turkey it will be white, but after about ½ hour more in the oven (without the foil) the skin will brown perfectly. We tested it and it works.
For some added flavor, Julie also shows you how to place some fresh herbs (such as sage, thyme or parsley) under the skin before cooking. The key to stuffing the turkey is to tie off the legs so that it remains in the cavity.

Roasting A Turkey
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