Simplest Roast Turkey

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The trick to this minimalist roast turkey is allowing it to air-dry overnight in the refrigerator, resulting in supercrispy skin.

Simplest Roast Turkey
Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs
Yield:
10 to 12

Ingredients

  • One 13- to 15-pound turkey

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold water and pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with 1/2 tablespoon of the salt, then season the outside with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. Put the turkey on a large plate and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425°. Rub the turkey all over with the olive oil, season with salt and the pepper and transfer to a large roasting pan. Roast for about 1 hour, until lightly golden. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° and roast for 2 to 2 1/4 hours longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh registers 165°; cover the breast with foil if it browns too quickly. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and let rest for at least 45 minutes before carving and serving.

Suggested Pairing

Lively, lightly floral Oregon Pinot Noir

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