Thanksgiving is hands-down my favorite holiday. Bar Americain is open each year for Thanksgiving, and we typically serve about 600 people before the day is over. No matter how many wonderful selections we offer on the abbreviated holiday menu, without fail turkey is the biggest seller — partly because people love it and partly, I think, out of a sense of tradition. This is the turkey that I serve at Bar Americain, with only the dressing and sides changing from year to year.
- One 17-pound turkey
- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped sage
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 Cups chicken stock
- 3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 large stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large onions, quartered
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting. Combine the butter, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Put 4 cups of the chicken stock in a medium-sized saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper, to taste, and fill the cavity with half of the carrots, celery, and onions. Rub the entire turkey with the herb butter and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Scatter the remaining vegetables on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Fit a rack over the vegetables and put the turkey on top of the rack. Pour the remaining stock into the bottom of the roasting pan and carefully put the pan in the oven. Roast until the turkey is light golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting, basting with the warm chicken stock every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 160 degreees, about 2 ½ more hours.
Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer to a large cutting board, and tent loosely with foil. Let rest for 30 minutes before carving. Strain the stock in the bottom of the roasting pan through a strainer lined with cheesecloth or paper towels into a medium-sized saucepan. Discard the solids. Boil the stock until reduced to a sauce consistency. Arrange the turkey on a large platter and drizzle with the reduced stock.