Although I am not hosting the Thanksgiving feast I am still making a turkey for the leftover factor and, just because I love the smell of turkey in our home. I have ordered a 16 lb heritage bird from Whole Foods and I can’t wait to taste it! This year I am doing a dry brine which I read about in the November, 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine.
Combine 1/3 cup kosher salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Rub all over the turkey and inside the cavity. Put on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours or overnight. Rinse well and pat dry.
I will make a classic herb butter
Mix 2 sticks softened butter, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon each dried sage and dried thyme, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 paprika and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.
Reserve 4 tablespoons, then rub the rest under the turkey skin on the breasts and legs. Rub 2 tablespoons of the reserved butter on the skin; chill and save the rest for your gravy. Let the turkey stand 30 minutes at room temperature before roasting.
Roasting the bird
Put the oven rack in the lowest position; preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the turkey, breast-side up on a rack in a large roasting pan , tucking the wing tips under. Roast until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees., about 15 minutes per pound. Baste the bird every hour and cover with foil if the skin starts to burn. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 30 minutes before carving. Whisk the reserved 2 tablespoons flavored butter into your gravy just before serving, if desired.