I ran across this recipe a few years back from my local grocery store. I was VERY skeptical that one could actually cook an entire turkey (regardless of size) in about 2 hours and have it be edible. Well, not only does this actually work, it produces the BEST roasted turkey I've had to date. NO MORE GETTING UP AT 4 a.m. to start the holiday turkey, NO MORE BASTING. It's so incredibly fast and easy. It has become the only way I roast turkeys. Turkey...it's not JUST for holidays, anymore. The biggest turkey I made this way was 22.5 pounds. It took about 2 hours 15 minutes to cook. WOW.
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
The flavor is all that you would expect from a well-cooked Thanksgiving turkey, but the technique is so wonderfully different! The Crew and I cooked a 14 lb turkey in 1 hr 15 min.
1PREHEAT OVEN TO 475 degrees F (240-250 degrees C). This is what you'll roast it at for the ENTIRE time. Since this employs the use of a VERY hot oven, make sure your oven is CLEAN before you start, AND put about 1 inch of water in the bottom of the roasting pan to reduce the risk of smoking your family out of the house.
NOTE*- even WITH a pristine oven, I still smoked out my house last Thanksgiving... so a tip to cut down on the smoke issue is to add about an inch of water (or broth) to the roaster pan...and keep replenishing it as needed. By doing this, not only was the smoking problem eliminated, but I had terrific drippings for gravy!
Hopefully this will eliminate the smoking issue!!
2Place oven rack on LOWEST or SECOND-TO-LOWEST position in oven. The lowest position may be too hot in some ovens since it's directly above the heating elements.
3Remove all giblets, neck, pop-up thermometer (if there is one) and any trussing (like the plastic thing that holds the legs together).
4Rinse turkey THOROUGHLY, inside and out with cool water, letting all water drain out of neck and body cavities. Pat dry, inside and out, with paper toweling.
5Place on V or U-shaped wire rack in roasting pan, so that turkey doesn't rest on bottom of 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.
If you don't have a rack...take a long piece of aluminum foil and wad it up into a long rope, then coil it in the bottom of the pan and rest your turkey on that.
NOTE** I STRONGLY RECOMMEND KEEPING 1-2 INCHES OF WATER IN THE BOTTOM OF YOUR ROASTING PAN DURING COOKING. This will GREATLY reduce smoking (which can be brutal). The first year I made this, I didn't put water in the bottom of the pan...and I smoked out my house. The turkey was fabulous, but the house was SO smoky.
6Rub entire outside of dried-off turkey with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. I use Kosher salt because it has large, coarse grains.
7Pull wing tips AWAY from the body, twist them and tuck them, backwards, under the bird...up by its neck.
8Using 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 pan.
9Do NOT tie legs together, do NOT add stuffing, do NOT close body cavity. NOT NOT NOT. It's probably okay to put a little seasoning in the cavity (herbs, lemon, onion) but don't fill up the cavity.
10Half-way through cooking time, turn the roasting pan around 180 degrees to ensure even cooking. Do NOT flip bird over.
11If any part of the turkey becomes too brown during cooking, cover it loosely with foil tent.
12Cooking timing chart below: (times are approximate)
10-13 lbs. = 50 minutes to 1 1/4 hrs.
13-16 lbs. = 1 1/4 hrs to 1 hour 50 minutes.
16-19 lbs. = 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs.
19-22 lbs. = 1 3/4 hrs to 2 1/4 hrs.
22-24 lbs. = 2 hrs to 2 1/2 hrs.
25+ lbs. = 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hrs...or a bit more depending on how humongo it is. Are you sure it's not an ostrich you're roasting? If not, call Guinness Book of Records.
It's done when internal temp (in thickest part of BOTH the THIGH and BREAST) is 160 degrees. Make certain they are BOTH at temp. Sometimes the thighs take a bit longer. When done, remove from oven. Cover completely with foil, and let rest 30-45 minutes before carving. The internal temp will continue to rise to the recommended 165 degrees.
13After resting, transfer to platter for carving. NOTE* 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!