1Since this employs the use of a VERY hot oven, make sure your oven is CLEAN before you start,to reduce the risk of smoking your family out of the house. Place oven rack on lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
2Remove all giblets, neck, pop-up thermometer (if there is one) and any trussing. Rinse turkey THOROUGHLY, inside and out with cool water, letting all the water drain out of the neck and body cavities. Pat dry, inside and out, with paper toweling. Place on V or Y shaped wire rack in roasting pan. First time I made this I didn’t have a rack, so I just slapped it in my grandmother’s old-fashioned blue-enamel roaster pan and it turned out FINE.
3Rub entire outside of dried turkey with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. I use kosher salt because it has large, coarse grains. Pull wing tips AWAY from the body, twist them and tuck them backwards, under the bird…up by its neck. Using aluminum foil, form caps over the end of each drumstick. If any parts of the turkey extend beyond pan rim, make a foil “collar” underneath to make sure drippings flow back into the pan. Do NOT tie legs together, do NOT add stuffing, do NOT close body cavity. NOT, NOT, NOT.
4Half-way through cooking time, turn roaster/turkey around to ensure even cooking. If any part of the turkey becomes too brown during cooking, cover it loosely with foil tent. Use the cooking timing chart below:
19-13 lbs. = 50 minutes to 1 ¼ hours
13-16 lbs. = 1 ¼ hours to 1 hour 50 minutes
16-19 lbs. = 1 ¼ hours to 2 hours
19-22 lbs. = 1 ½ to 2 hours
22-24 lbs. = 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours
25+ lbs. = Are you sure it’s not an ostrich you’re roasting? If not, call the Guinness Book of Records!
5Turkey is done when internal temp (in breast) is 160 degrees. When done, remove from oven. Cover completely with foil, and let rest 30-45 minutes before carving. The internal temperature will continue to rise to the recommended 165 degrees. After resting, transfer to platter for carving.
6NOTE: There will likely be a LOT of juices in the cavity; drain them out before transferring the bird to a platter. Save the juices to make gravy or moisten dressing!