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roasting American
Roast Whole Turkey with Garlic and Herb Stuffing

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
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  • 1 fresh turkey, 8 to 24 pounds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 to 12 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 to 2 large sweet onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Glaze of your choice (recipes follow)  

  • ¾ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


1. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for an hour before roasting.

2. Position the oven racks so that the top rack is below the center of the oven and there is one rack of space beneath it (you may need to remove one oven rack), and place the bottom rack in the lowest position possible to accommodate accompaniment dishes on that rack. If the turkey is too large, you may need to use the whole oven for it and bake accompaniment dishes separately. Preheat the oven to convection roast at 325°F for turkeys 8 to 14 pounds. Preheat the oven to convection roast at 300°F for turkeys up to 24 pounds.

3. Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard excess fat. Season the turkey inside with salt and pepper. Place the garlic, onions, and herbs inside the cavity of the turkey. Truss the turkey, if desired, using kitchen twine and tuck the wings behind the shoulders. Spread the butter over the turkey breast and season the turkey surface with additional salt and pepper.

4. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer or probe into the thigh, away from the bone. Roast according to the following estimated times or until the probe or meat thermometer registers 170°F to 175°F:

8-pound turkey 1 to 1¼ hours at 325°F

12-pound turkey 1¾ to 2¼ hours at 325°F

14-pound turkey 2¼ to 3 hours at 325°F

18-pound turkey 3 to 3½ hours at 300°F

20-pound turkey 3½ to 3¾ hours at 300°F

24-pound turkey 3¾ to 4¼ hours at 300°F

5. Prepare one of the glazes below, and brush the turkey with it several times during the last 15 to 30 minutes. Prepare the potato dishes, if desired, and place on the bottom rack of the oven to cook along with the turkey. At this low temperature, the potatoes and the turkey will take about the same amount of time. If you cook potatoes at the same time, remove them when done and keep warm.

6. When the turkey is done, transfer it to a warmed platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

Orange Honey Glaze

Combine ¾ cup orange marmalade, ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, and 1 tablespoon honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Brush the turkey with this mixture during the last 15 minutes of roasting.

Apricot Jalapeño Glaze

Combine 2/3 cup apricot preserves, 3 seeded and chopped jalapeños, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; simmer for 5 minutes. Brush the turkey with this mixture during the last 15 minutes of roasting.

Maple Balsamic Glaze

Combine ½ cup pure maple syrup, 2 tablespoons butter, and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and heat, stirring, until the butter is melted. Brush the turkey with this mixture during the last 15 minutes of roasting.

Bourbon and Mustard Glaze

Combine:Brush the turkey with this mixture during the last 15 minutes of roasting.

© 2005 Beatrice Ojakangas

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

This recipe serves 12. Nutritional information is based on using an 8lb turkey, 1 teaspoon of added salt, and the Bourbon and Mustard Glaze.

401kcal (20%)
64mg (6%)
10mg (16%)
45mcg RAE (2%)
156mg (52%)
353mg (15%)
6g (31%)
20g (31%)
4mg (22%)

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