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Roast Turkey

1 fresh whole turkey (about 20 pounds), giblets

and neck removed from cavity and reserved
1 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted,
plus 4 tablespoons, softened
1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine, plus 1 cup dry red
or white wine (or water), for gravy

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Cornbread, Bacon, and Leek Stuffing (recipe follows)
Giblet Stock (recipe follows)
1 Rinse turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Let stand 2 hours

at room temperature.
2 Preheat oven to 450F, with rack on lowest level. Combine melted butter
and bottle of white wine in a large bowl. Fold a large piece of cheesecloth
into quarters and cut it into a 17-inch, four-layer square. Immerse cheesecloth
in the butter and wine; let soak.
3 Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a heavy roasting pan. (If

the turkey comes with a pop-up timer, remove it; an i nstant-read thermometer
is a much more accurate indication of doneness.) Fold wing tips under turkey.
Season cavities (including neck) with salt and pepper, then fill loosely with
stuffing; do not pack tightly. (Cook any remaining stuffing in a buttered baking
dish at 350F for 35 minutes.) Tie legs together loosely with kitchen twine. Fold
neck flap under and secure with toothpicks. Rub turkey with the softened butter
and season with salt and pepper.
4 Lift cheesecloth out of the liquid and squeeze it slightly, leaving it very
damp. Drape evenly over the breast and about halfway down the sides of
the turkey. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Cook 30 minutes. Using a pastry
brush, baste cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with some of the
wine mixture. Continue to cook another 2 hours, basting with more wine
mixture every 30 minutes.

a ll-a mer ica n


Its fun to think back on all

the different turkeys I have
prepared over many years
of hosting Thanksgiving, the
most celebrated American
meal. Ive tried every
technique under the sun:
brining, dry-brining, rubbing,
d eep-f rying, grilling, and
of course, roastingquick
roasting at high temperatures,
slow roasting at lower
temperatures, and everywhere
in between. There were subtle
and sometimes n ot-so-
subtle differences that made
each a unique experience.
Yet the t ried-and-t rue method
I like best requires covering
the bird with a butter-
and-winesoaked cheesecloth
as it roasts; the result is
an exceptionally moist
and flavorful turkey that
has developed a very loyal
following among Martha
Stewart Living readers since
the recipe was first published
in the mid-1990s.

5 Carefully remove and discard cheesecloth. Turn roasting pan so that the

breast is facing the back of the oven. Baste turkey with pan juices. (If there are
not enough juices, continue to use the wine mixture.) The skin becomes fragile
as it browns, so baste carefully. Cook 1 more hour, basting after 30 minutes.
6 After this fourth hour of cooking, insert an i nstant-read thermometer into

the thickest part of the thigh (avoiding the bone). The temperature should reach
165F and the turkey should be golden brown (also check the stuffing, which
should be between 140F and 160F). The breast does not need to be checked
for temperature. If legs are not yet fully cooked, baste turkey, return to oven,
and cook another 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer turkey to a platter and let rest
30 minutes before carving (see page 32).
(Continued on next page)