Delicious Living Blog

How to roast a turkey without basting

nov04_turkey.jpgEveryone has their own method for roasting a turkey, but this method has worked for me every time -- and there's no basting required. It's easy, cleanup is a snap, and the turkey is moist throughout. Just be careful not to overcook it at the very end after it's uncovered to brown.

1. Place your fully-thawed turkey in the sink; empty the cavity (use the giblets and neck to make stock or gravy, if you like) and rinse inside and out; pat dry. Seasoning the empty cavity with salt & pepper (you can also add a cut-up onion, apple, or fresh herb sprigs). Rub turkey all over with olive oil or butter. (I do not stuff turkeys with stuffing because it's considered unsafe -- the stuffing doesn't get hot enough to kill any potential bacteria.)

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wrap the turkey semi-tightly (leave a little air space) in heavy-duty foil. (Do not use regular foil.) I typically lay out several overlapping pieces to make a huge piece, then put the turkey in the middle and wrap, to get complete coverage. Place in a roasting pan.

3. Bake turkey for 10 minutes per pound at 450 degrees. The foil keeps all the juices inside and basically steam-cooks the turkey without losing any moisture.

4. Uncover carefully (steam is hot!), peeling back most of the foil. Roast another 15 minutes to brown.

5. Remove from oven. Important: Let turkey sit for at least 20 minutes before carving, to let juices soak in and redistribute.

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