A mix of herbs and butter under the skin keeps this turkey juicy and tender with a crispy skin. The broth underneath is ready to be used as a delicious turkey gravy!
24 HRS BEFORE YOU SERVE: Simply defrost your turkey beforehand, remove the giblets and neck and put away in the fridge for later use, rinse the turkey well. Pat turkey dry and add the turkey to a large pan. Salt the turkey well. You want to sprinkle the salt from high above the turkey so you don't only salt one portion, rub the turkey skin well so it can penetrate. This helps to prep for taste and texture, keeping the bird moist. (I know it seems weird for salt to do that, but trust me). That's it for prep, cover the turkey with tin foil and place it in the fridge until Thanksgiving morning. (Nope, I don't brine, I find this technique keeps it way moister and is less messy and stressful)
Next, make your game plan and timetable before cooking. Watch the link and confirm how much time it will take you to cook your bird depending on the size, etc. and remember if you add more to the oven, it will slow down the cooking. The only recipe here you'll add to the oven is to finish off the brussels sprouts, and that can be done while the turkey rests. Look for dishes that can also bake up in a hot oven in less than an hour so it can all be done while your turkey is done and resting. Also, on that note, make sure you allot time for the turkey to rest for 30mins and up to one hour before serving. You can serve appetizers at that time if you'd like!
DAY OF: Now that you have your timetable worked out, let's start. 1 HR before you are going to cook the bird, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
After that 1 hour has passed, preheat your oven to 500f degrees which you'll use to cook the bird just for the first 30 minutes (trust!) - This helps with that crispy skin.
In watching the video link below, you'll see how to loosen the skin by placing your hands at the neck area and patiently working your fingers throughout to loosen it. It works easier as the bird gets to room temp. Have faith and don't be too scared or too rough!
Next, give your hands a good wash and start making your herbed butter. Mix the herbs, minced garlic and butter in a food processor until well combined. Break off pieces of the butter and start adding it underneath the skin on each piece of meat (so to speak), like on each breast, leg, thigh, backside, and near the wing Pitts as I call them! Use as much as fits well and try not to rip the skin. If it tears a bit, just keep the skin covering as much as you can so the butter absorbs into the meat during the roasting process.
Now, add more sea salt all over your bird! You can add any other seasonings you like here too. I do recommend adding kitchen twine just to close the drumsticks and the wings. This helps to keep it all in place, but if you don't, it's not the end of the world.
To your roasting pan, pour the vegetable broth into the bottom, and add that neck you saved to the bottom as well and then set the rack on top. Place your turkey on top and begin roasting for 30 minutes, SET A TIMER!! Then reduce the temperature to 325-350f degrees and continue roasting, allowing 16 minutes per pound. Baste turkey every 30 minutes after the first hour and if you see one side getting darker than the over, spin your turkey around!
Check the temperature using a meat thermometer (you can start checking before the projected "done" time as your oven may be quick, see variables below)- 170 degrees means you're all done. Check the thickest part of the breast and thigh (without touching the bone) to be sure. Remove when done.
LET IT REST before you carve! Plan for 30mins up to 1 hour for resting with tin foil covering the bird. Trust me, it will still be very hot before you carve it. If you want a juicy bird, do not rush this process!
When you're about to carve, get some assistance with lifting the bird out of the pan and onto a board where someone can carve it. In the meantime, grab that neck and the juices in the pan and make a quick pan gravy by heating it in a saucepan with a bit of starch. Start with 1 Tbsp of arrowroot starch in 4 oz. of water and stir well to create a slurry. Pour that slurry when dissolved into the heated sauce and whisk until it thickens! Add any herbs you like, you can even cook the liver and heart in here if you'd like.
VOILA. Carve that bird up, serve and have your turkey drippings gravy on the side.
*be sure to use a saturated fat such as: butter, ghee, lard, or coconut oil since this will cook at a very high heat.