It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the variety of methods and advice available for roasting the Thanksgiving turkey. I started basting our turkey with this sand plum jelly and butter mixture several years ago. It finishes beautifully with a lovely sweet golden finish. Consider the amount of oven space you will have available and what will be most practical for you in your kitchen. This classic method can be used with a lidded roasting pan or heavy duty roaster with a tent of foil until final basting. Plan about 15 minutes roasting time per pound plus an additional 20 to 30 minutes resting time.
1 turkey, thawed or fresh, brined 10 to 12 hours or overnight if desired
Chicken broth to fill roaster pan an inch deep
Celery sticks to position in bottom of roaster as a rack for turkey
Fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme and sage leaves
Carrot sticks, onion slices and celery stalks to roast around turkey
¼ cup butter (2 tablespoons softened for first basting, 2 tablespoons reserved)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup sand plum jelly melted with reserved butter for final basting
• Consult thawing chart, allowing time for thawing if needed. Thaw and remove wrapper, working over sink to keep liquids from draining onto work space. Prepare roasting vegetables. Remove giblets and neck. Trim excess fat around cavity and neck.
• On the day before cooking, brine defrosted or fresh turkey if desired. Adjust oven racks to fit turkey and set temperature at 325 degrees.
• Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Coat roaster with cooking spray or butter. Place turkey in prepared roaster. Tuck wings under themselves by bending end section behind larger section. Secure legs with butcher’s twine or silicone bands.