Roasted Turkey with Pan Juices


One 18 - 20 pound turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cranberry Pecan stuffing
1/4 cup(1/2 stick) of butter, softened
Dry red wine, optional

Preheat your oven to 325F. Rinse the turkey well, inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. rub salt and pepper into both the neck and body cavities. Stuff both cavities loosely with stuffing and close both ends with trussing skewers and string. Place the turkey breast up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Rub the skin lightly with softened butter. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. Place the turkey in the oven and roast for about 12 minutes per pound, 15 minutes per pound if the turkey weighs less than 15 pounds, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices. The turkey is done, when the meat thermometer registers 180F., or when the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a fork. Remove the turkey to a warm platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes with a fork. Scrape all particles from the bottom of the roasting pan and stir them into the pan juices to give them a deeper color and a heartier flavor. Add a small amount of water or dry red wine and salt and pepper to taste, then simmer for a few minutes on top on the stove. Remove to a warmed gravy boat. Remove the stuffing to a warmed vegetable bowl. Serve the turkey surrounded with parsley. As each serving is carved, spoon a tablespoon or so of the pan juices over each one. Serves 8 - 10 with plenty of leftovers


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