Turkey for a Crowd

Published November 1, 2002.

Why this recipe works:

For our big turkey recipe, we wanted a Norman Rockwell picture of perfection: crisp, mahogany skin wrapped around tender, moist meat. It was difficult to find a container large enough for brining such a big bird. So we chose either a Butterball or a kosher turkey. Both have been, in essence,… read more

For our big turkey recipe, we wanted a Norman Rockwell picture of perfection: crisp, mahogany skin wrapped around tender, moist meat. It was difficult to find a container large enough for brining such a big bird. So we chose either a Butterball or a kosher turkey. Both have been, in essence, brined—the Butterball injected with a saltwater solution and the kosher bird packed in salt during koshering. Initial high heat gave our turkey a crisp skin, while lowering the heat for the remaining cooking time finished it off without drying it out. For such a showpiece, we wouldn’t think of serving store-bought gravy. We had plenty of time while the turkey cooked to prepare our tried-and-true giblet gravy recipe.

less

Serves 20 to 24

You can use any roasting pan to roast the turkey, even a disposable one, but make sure to use a V-rack to keep the bird elevated. Be careful to dry the skin thoroughly before brushing the bird with butter; otherwise it will have spotty brown skin. Rotating the bird helps produce moist, evenly cooked meat, but for the sake of ease, you may opt not to rotate it. In that case, skip the step of lining the V-rack with foil and roast the bird breast-side up for the entire cooking time. Because we do not brine the bird, we had the best results with a frozen Butterball (injected with salt and water) and a kosher bird (soaked in saltwater during processing). See below for tips on defrosting a frozen turkey.

Ingredients

In My Favorites
Please Wait…
Remove Favorite
Add to custom collection