No one should fear the Thanksgiving bird. The secrets to surefire roasting? Soak it overnight in brine, fill it with aromatic herbs to infuse it with more flavor, and spackle the entire turkey with soft butter for a crispy skin. For more recipes from Scott and Heather Fratangelo's Thanksgiving menu, including the recipe for Turkey Brine, see the Grateful Spread.
Blueprint, November/December 2007
- 1 turkey (14 pounds), brined
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 or 3 sprigs each fresh thyme, sage, parsley, and rosemary
- 1/2 bulb fennel, roughly chopped
- 2 small yellow onions, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove turkey from brine, pat dry, and bring to room temperature, about 1 hour. Season inside of turkey with salt and pepper. Place turkey on a rack inside a roasting pan; tuck wings under body. Stuff half of the herbs inside the turkey. Add all vegetables and remaining herbs and garlic. Tie legs together with cooking twine. Sprinkle outside of turkey with salt and pepper, rub with butter, and season inside with salt and pepper again.
- Roast turkey for 1 hour. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees, rotate roasting pan, and roast for another hour. Turn pan and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees, about 1 1/2 hours more (start checking at 1 hour).
- Remove turkey from oven; let rest at least 30 minutes before carving. Reserve pan and the turkey drippings for gravy.
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