Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 1 turkey, 12 to 14 pounds, prebasted, thawed according to package directions
- vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- Oyster Dressing
- 1 1/2 pints shucked oysters
- 1 cup butter
- 3/4 cup chopped onions
- 12 cups fresh bread crumbs (16 to 18 slices)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery, with some leaves
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 scant teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Rinse turkey and drain well; pat dry with paper towels. Skewer neck skin to back of turkey. With turkey breast-side up, lift wings toward neck, then fold under back of turkey so they stay in place. Tie legs and tail together with string or press drumsticks under band of loose skin. Brush turkey all over with the vegetable oil.
Insert meat thermometer into the center of thigh, close to body, not touching bone. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in large open roasting pan. Roast for 3 1/2 to 4 1/4 hours. Start checking for temperature the last hour of cooking.
Meanwhile, prepare oyster dressing (see instructions below).
When bird is nicely browned, cover loosely with a "tent" of foil. Remove foil near the end of roasting time and brush with pan drippings. The turkey is done when meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer reaches about 180 to 185°. The thickest part of the leg should feel soft and loose from the bone when lightly pinched with paper towel covered fingers. Remove turkey to a warm platter and let stand for about 15 minutes before carving.
Serves 10 to 14.
About 1 1/2 hours before serving time, prepare oyster dressing. Drain oysters, reserving 1/2 cup of oyster liquor; set aside. Coarsely chop the oysters; set aside.
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium high heat, melt butter. When butter is hot, cook the chopped onions until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in reserved oysters and liquor. Stir in the 12 cups of bread crumbs, chopped celery, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and the herbs. Spoon mixture into a well greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake in the oven with the turkey for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake 20 minutes longer, until nicely browned.