Roast Turkey



  1. Heat the oven to 500 F.
  2. Rinse the turkey under cool running water and remove the giblets from the cavity.
  3. Trim off the excess fat and wing tips.
  4. Pat the bird dry, smear the butter all over the skin, and sprinkle it well with salt and pepper.
  5. Put the turkey in a large roasting pan with the breast facing up.
  6. Pour 1/2 cup water into the bottom of the pan and add the onion, carrot, celery, and parsley, along with the turkey neck, and the wing tips.
  7. Put the turkey in the oven, legs first if possible.
  8. Roast until the top of the turkey begins to brown, 20 to 30 minutes, then lower the oven heat to 325 F.
  9. Continue to roast, checking and brushing the bird with the pan juices every 30 minutes.
  10. If the bottom of the pan gets dry, add 1/2 cup water; there should be liquid in the bottom of the pan at all times.
  11. The turkey is done when a quick-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of one of the thighs measures 155 - 165 F; figure 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.
  12. If the top looks like it's getting too brown too quickly, press a piece of aluminum foil directly onto it.
  13. If the top looks like it's not browned enough, turn the heat back up to 425 F for the last 20 to 30 minutes of roasting.
  14. When the turkey is ready, tip the juices out of the cavity into the pan, transfer the bird to a cutting board, cover loosely, and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
  15. Strain juice from the pan into a glass measuring cup.
  16. When the fat rises to the top, skim it off and warm the juices before serving.
  17. If not, hang on to the roasting pan and all its contents.