Roast Turkey with Rosemary-Orange Butter
1 (12-pound) turkey, (neck, heart and gizzard removed)
Salt and pepper
1/2 C. butter, room temperature
2 T. minced orange zest
4 t. minced fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Remove turkey from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature up to 2 hours. Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 325° F. Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Trim off excess fat. Fold wings underneath back of turkey to prevent over-browning. Lightly salt and pepper turkey inside and out. Stuff and truss turkey if desired.
To make rosemary-orange butter: Mash together butter, zest, rosemary and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a bowl.
Working from tail end of turkey, gently slide your fingers between skin and flesh on breast, legs and as much of the thighs as you can. Next, slide your fingers between skin and breast of turkey from neck end. Spread about half the rosemary-orange butter underneath skin and over meat on turkey breast, legs and thighs. Spread remaining butter over outside of skin.
Place turkey on a rack in a flameproof roasting pan just large enough to hold turkey. Place pan in oven and roast 1 3/4 hours, rotating pan's position on rack from front to back several times. Turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh away from bone registers 180° F., about 1 1/4 hours longer.
Transfer turkey to cutting board and allow to rest before carving, about 20 to 30 minutes.
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