Yield: Serves 8
- 1 turkey, about 14 to 16 pounds
- 3 tablespoons softened butter
- salt and pepper
- fresh basil leaves
- dried rubbed sage, optional
- dried leaf thyme, optional
- chicken broth or water
Rinse turkey with cold water and pat dry. Place on a rack in a roasting pan, and rub all over with butter. Put several basil leaves under the skin. Sprinkle all over and in the cavity with salt and pepper. Sprinkle all over with a little dried sage and thyme, if desired. With twine, secure the wings close to the body and secure the legs together. Pour about 1 cup of chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan.
Roast for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325°.
Cover the turkey with foil and roast for about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours longer, until a meat thermometer or oven probe registers 175° to 180° in the inner part of a thigh (not touching bone) or about 165° in the thickest part of the breast. If stuffed, the turkey stuffing must reach at least 165° in the center of the stuffing. Remove the foil about 30 minutes before the turkey is done.
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