Classic Roast Turkey
10 to 25 servings
This is the ideal method to use for birds over 15 pounds in weight, though it works well for smaller birds, too. The lower heat ensures that the bird cooks to doneness relatively evenly. While we give the option to stuff the bird, please be aware that you will have to remove the stuffing and finish cooking it in a baking dish, as it will not cook through at the same rate as the turkey. Please read About Turkey, 426, and About Roasting Turkey, 427.
A day or more before roasting the turkey, you may brine or dry- brine it, 405 (we recommend dry-brining), if desired. If you have wet-brined the bird, pat it day and allow it to air dry overnight, uncovered and refrigerated, on a rack set over a baking sheet. It is imperative to dry out the skin to encourage browning.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
If you wish to stuff the bird, have hot or at room temperature:
(Basic Bread Stuffing or Dressing, 532, or Basic Corn Bread Stuffing or Dressing, 532, with any desired additions)
If you have not done so already, remove the giblets and neck from:
One 10- to 25-pound turkey
If the bird is not kosher, self-basting, or brined, rub all over with:
Loosely pack the body and neck cavities with the stuffing, if using. Bring the legs together and tie them to hold thestuffing in. Set the turkey breast side up on a V rack in a roaring pan or on a large rimmed baking sheet. Any leftover stuffing can be placed in a buttered baking dish. Brush the turkey's skin all over with:
3 to 6 tablespoons melted butter, depending on the size of the turkey, or as needed
Transfer the turkey to the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Roast until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 155°F, and the thickest part of the thigh reaches at least 170°F. (Stuffing must reach 165°F.) This may take as little as 2 hours for a 10-pound turkey and up to 6 hours for a very large turkey.Transfer the turkey to a platter and let rest for at least 20 and up to 40 minutes before carving. If the breast is done but the thighs are not, take the turkey out of the oven and carve the legs off at the hip joint. Place the legs on a rimmed baking sheet and return to the oven to finish cooking through while the breast and carcass rests. If the stuffing is not done, spoon it into a buttered baking dish and place in the oven to cook through as the turkey rests.
While the turkey rests, prepare, if desired:
(Quick Pan Sauce or Gravy, 545, or Turkey Giblet Gravy, 545)
Finally, if at the end of cooking you are not happy with the degree of browning, increase the oven temperature to 500°F and let it preheat when you remove the turkey to rest. When the oven is preheated and the gravy made, place the rested turkey back in the pan and roast until the skin is browned, about 10 minutes. To carve, see About Carving Poultry, 405.
Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce
6 to 8 servings
Bring to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Boil the syrup for 5 minutes, then add:
4 cups cranberries (1 pound), picked over
Simmer the berries in the syrup very gently, uncovered, without stirring, until the berries are translucent, about 5 minutes. Skim off any foam. If desired, add:
(Finely grated zest of 1 orange)
Pour the berries into a serving dish. Chill until firm.
Miso Glazed Eggplant
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Lightly grease a baking sheet.
4 slender Japanese eggplants
Brush the cut sides liberally with:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Roast cut side down on the baking sheet until the eggplant is slightly softened and just beginning to brown around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix in a small bowl until smooth:
¼ cup red or white miso
2 tablespoons mirin or white wine
1 tablespoon sake or water
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, turn the eggplant halves over, and brush or spread the miso mixture onto the cut sides. Turn on the broiler, return the sheet to the oven, and cook until well browned and starting to char in spots, about 5 minutes.
Excerpted from Joy of Cooking by John Becker and Megan Scott. Copyright © 2019. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Photos by Heidi's Bridge.