Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe
4 C. kosher salt or 2 cups table salt
1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds gross weight), rinsed thoroughly; giblets, neck, and tailpiece removed and reserved to make gravy
3 medium onions, chopped coarse
1 1/2 medium carrots, chopped coarse
1 1/2 celery stalks, chopped coarse
6 thyme sprigs
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
Dissolve salt in 2 gallons of cold water in large stockpot or clean bucket. Add turkey and refrigerate or set in very cool (40° F. or less) spot for 4 to 6 hours.
Remove turkey from salt water and rinse both cavities and skin under cool running water for several minutes until all traces of salt are gone. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Place turkey on meat rack set over rimmed sheet pan. Place turkey in refrigerator, uncovered, and air-dry for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Adjust oven rack to lowest position, and heat oven to 400° F. Toss one-third of onion, carrot, celery, and thyme with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and place this mixture in body cavity. Bring turkey legs together and perform a simple truss.
Scatter remaining vegetables and thyme over a shallow roasting pan. Pour 1 cup water over vegetables. Set V-rack in pan. Brush entire breast side of turkey with half of remaining butter, then place turkey, breast side down, on V-rack. Brush entire backside of turkey with remaining butter.
Roast for 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven (close oven door); baste with juices from pan. With wad of paper toweling in each hand, turn turkey, leg/thigh side up. If liquid in pan has totally evaporated, add another 1/2 cup water. Return turkey to oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove turkey from oven again, baste, and again use paper toweling to turn other leg/thigh side up; roast for another 15 minutes. Remove turkey from oven for final time, baste, and turn it breast side up; roast until breast registers about 165° F. and thigh registers 170 to 175° F. on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove turkey from pan and let rest until ready to carve.
Serve with gravy.
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