Classes on how to roast a turkey sell out faster than any of the other classes I give in my restaurant, Lolita. In the fall the main question I get from people is how do I roast a turkey? So here’s how I do it and I always end up with a beautiful, golden-brown bird that’s completely cooked and juicy inside.
One of the main mistakes people make is buying a bird that’s too big, I recommend you buy a ten to twelve-pound bird, and if that’s not enough buy two birds rather than one bigger one. Turkey is the one animal which I don’t prefer to use heritage breeds; I find them to be tough and dry.
To cook the bird, you’ll need a large roasting pan and cheesecloth to cover the entire breast. Season the bird a day in advance with plenty of salt, about two tablespoons for a ten-pound bird. I never fill the carcass with stuffing; when you do you have to overcook the bird to in order to full cook the stuffing. If you want to serve a stuffing, bake it separately. Instead fill the cavity with aromatic vegetables and herbs, such as onion and fennel, which perfume the meat and keep the bird moist.
I melt butter with herbs and soak a piece of cheesecloth in the butter. I then drape this over the turkey to keep it moist and ensure that they turkey will be a perfect golden brown every time. I roast it in a hot oven until the juices run clear and, finally let it rest for at least fifteen to twenty minutes to finish cooking and allow the juice to redistribute themselves.
And that’s all there is to it. There’s no reason to think that cooking a turkey is tricky or difficult.