The white meat and dark meat of a turkey cook at different rates, so it takes some strategy to end up with gloriously browned whole bird on a shiny platter straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
This recipe by Nick Kindelsperger was originally published in the Chicago Tribune
- 1 small turkey (8 to 12 pounds), not kosher or pre-brined
- 4 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/4 Cup canola oil
- 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- fresh herbs including rosemary sprigs, thyme sprigs, sage leaves, for garnish
- oranges, quartered, for garnish
Remove giblets and neck. Using a sharp knife, remove wing tips and wishbone. Set all aside to use for stock and gravy, if you like.
Using your fingers, loosen skin from the meat around the breasts and legs, being careful not to rip the skin. Season the turkey all over with the salt, including some underneath the skin. Transfer to a large V-rack set over a rimmed baking sheet; place in the fridge overnight.
The next day, heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove turkey from the fridge; drizzle with the canola oil.
Place sheet pan in the oven; pour 2 cups of liquid (water, broth, etc.) into the pan. Cook, rotating it around the oven so that it roasts evenly, until the thigh registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, 1 1/2 hours or more, depending on size of the bird.
Remove, set aside to rest before slicing.
Serve, garnished with fresh herbs and oranges.