Ready in 6 hours
Make with my Apple Pecan Dressing
1. Make sure turkey is fully defrosted. I prefer a fresh young bird at around 22-25 pounds.
2. Completely rinse inside of turkey and remove any remaining insides that you may see in the cavity. Pat dry with paper towel.
3. Liberally season inside of cavity with 2/3 of the spice mixture of salt, poultry seasoning, oregano and basil. I mix the seasoning in a small bowl and then just grab liberal pinches of the mix to season.
4. Lightly pack neck cavity with Apple Pecan Dressing: http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/194619/apple-pecan-rice-bread-turkey-stuffing and then secure skin to bottom of turkey with short wooden or metal skewers.
5. Lightly pack bird cavity with Apple Pecan Dressing: http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/194619/apple-pecan-rice-bread-turkey-stuffing (or another of your choice). Most turkeys now come with a oven proof plastic catch to secure the leg which helps to hold the dressing in place.
6. Place turkey in large roasting pan and add a small amount of Chicken Broth if desired for basting (reserve broth for gravy). Note: I added the broth after cooking the bird for 3 hours so that some turkey drippings would glaze and brown on the bottom of the pan. If the bird you choose does not come pre-buttered or injected with butter, then a 1 cube butter to the bottom of the pan for initial basting. Also, when basting the bird if you notice that the bottom of the pan is beginning to brown to much, add the chicken broth then.
7. Evenly season entire outside of turkey with remaining season mix.
8. Sprinkle top of turkey with Paprika which will help with an even browning.
9. Cover wing tips with foil so they do not burn or turn them down and under the turkey if possible. Crunch up a little foil and place over the dressing so that it does not burn. You will remove this foil later to allow for some browning.
10.Cover entire bird with a large piece of foil set loosely over the bird so that it does not brown to quickly. I use the extra large foil size. I use the heavy duty 18" foil so that it easily covers the entire pan.
11. Cook in 325 degree oven for 5 1/2 to 6 hours for a 22 to 25 pound bird. Baste turkey with pan dripping once every hour while cooking. I usually add the chicken broth at the first stage of basting.
12. If the bird has not browned sufficiently after 4 1/2 hours, then remove the foil to allow for final browning.
I used a Fresh Young Jenny-O Turkey at 22 pounds for Thanksgiving 2011. It was so juicy and tender. There was no need to add butter for this bird. I had to remove one cup of butter from the basting reserves when making the gravy.