The BEST Thanksgiving Turkey EVER

The Perfect Oven-Roasted Bird

[This is by far the best turkey I have EVER tasted! I found the recipe in the Baltimore Sun newspaper several years ago and lament its absence when I don’t cook Thanksgiving dinner.]

Serves 10-12, 16-18 lb. turkey

Wet Rub

¾ c. fresh parsley

½ c. fresh basil

¼ c. fresh rosemary

½ c. fresh, minced shallots

¼ c. fresh garlic cloves

3 T. coarse ground black pepper

¼ c. kosher salt

½ c. olive oil

½ c. canola or vegetable oil

[Buy your herbs early; they go fast at the market and you don’t want to leave out anything.]

Stuffing (see note)

Salt and pepper

2 yellow onions

4 medium carrots

3 celery stalks

1 bunch of parsley

2 bay leaves

Dry Rub

½ c. unsalted butter

¼ c. black pepper

¼ c. kosher salt

2 T. celery salt

½ c. dry thyme

½ c. white wine [I use a good dry and drink a glass while I’m cooking.]

Remove innards from the turkey and rinse thoroughly with cold water, inside and out.

Combine all wet rub ingredients in a food processor and pulse for at least a minute until you’ve made a well-incorporated paste. [I don’t own a food processor, so I just throw it all in my blender. Works fine.]

Carefully pull the skin away from the turkey by inserting your index finger under the skin at the top of the turkey breast. Try to separate as much skin as possible from the turkey, while leaving the skin itself intact. Using your fingers, spread the wet rub onto the bird, under the skin. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 2 hours. [I try to remember to do this, but sometimes forget. It’s still awesome!]

Preheat over to 350. Salt and pepper the cavity of the bird. Coarse-chop the onions, carrots and celery, stuff the cavity; then add the parsley bunch and bay leaves to the cavity.

Melt the unsalted butter and combine all dry-rub ingredients, except white wine. When butter is lukewarm, brush it all over the bird. The, liberally sprinkle your bird with the dry rub.

Place bird in a roasting pan, on a roasting rack. Pour the white wine into the roasting pan; cover, and bake for approximately 20 minutes per pound, depending on oven calibration. [I put my bird into a Reynold’s Turkey Bag and then into a disposable roasting pan, adding the wine before I cinch the bag shut. Makes for easy clean-up and no-fuss cooking.]

Note: You may choose to eat the veggies (if so, discard the bay leaves), but this stuffing is meant to enhance the bird’s flavor. [It’s my mama’s favorite part.]

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