The Barefoot Contessa's Perfect Roast Turkey

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Everything Ina Garten does is perfect.

1 fresh turkey (12 pounds)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch of fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
3 Spanish onions
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
4 tablespoons butter (½ stick), melted
½ cup good olive oil
8 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
10 red new potatoes, halved
3 heads fennel, fronds removed, cut into wedges through the core

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, lemon, one of the onions (quartered), and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey. Peel and slice the remaining onions, toss them with 1/4 cup olive oil, and scatter them around the turkey.

Roast the turkey for 1 hour. Toss the carrots, potatoes, and fennel with 1/4 cup olive oil and add to the roasting pan. Continue to roast for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes.

Stir the vegetables and return the pan to the oven. Continue to cook the vegetables while the turkey rests. Slice the turkey and serve on a platter with the roasted vegetables.

From The Barefoot Contessa  Fall 2007


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