1 fresh or frozen turkey, 10-12 lb. average *
4 Tbsp. Frank Davis Poultry Seasoning
2 Tbsp. kosher or sea salt
2 Tbsp. black pepper
1 stick sweet cream butter, softened
First, put the turkey in the sink under cold running water and wash it thoroughly; making sure to remove all the debris from the internal cavity.
Then, with paper towels, pat the bird dry inside and out and place it onto a sheet of waxed or parchment paper on the countertop.
At this point, you also want to pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees.
Next, season the turkey front and back, inside and out, with the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. And I don’t mean just sprinkle it on—rub those seasonings into the bird hard!
Then, with the real butter (not margarine), massage the bird liberally—again both inside and out—until the butter coats the skin completely. And be sure you put butter up under the skin too!
Now place the turkey breast-side up into a high-sided baking pan large enough to hold the bird plus whatever juices will be rendered out (and you will get juices!).
Then tightly wrap the ends of the wing tips and drumsticks with a 4x4 square of aluminum foil—this keeps the tips from burning. Do not wrap the bird in foil, do not tent it, and do not put it into a baking bag! Cook it completely uncovered!
When your thermostat indicates that the oven is at 500 degrees, slide the turkey in but watch it closely. It should brown to a honey color in about 20 minutes or less. And that’s all you want it to do—just turn a honey brown
Now, as soon as it reaches the right color (which actually seals the skin and holds in natural moisture) reduce the temperature to 225 degrees. Then slow-roast the turkey until it is tender and juicy. It should take you about 40 minutes to the pound, depending upon the insulation of your oven.
When it’s almost done, remove the turkey from the oven, use a ladle, and dip out as much of the drippings as possible from the baking pan (but save them for your gravy).
Now turn the oven temperature up to 350 degrees, slide the bird back into the oven, and continue to bake—basting occasionally with the reserved drippings—until the turkey is glazed to a rich toasty color.
After it’s cooked, you might take a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and cover the turkey to keep it warm and to prevent it from drying out.
When you’re ready to eat, place the bird onto a serving platter, move it to the table, and carve it fresh for your family and dinner guests. The extra gravy made from the pan drippings can be used as a topping.
* You can prepare either a fresh or frozen turkey this way. But if you use a frozen turkey, it must be thoroughly thawed out before you attempt to cook it. And I recommend that you thaw it in the refrigerator (it takes about three days). Just remember, to prevent contamination, never, never, never, thaw on the countertop, or in the sink, or at room temperature! I also recommend that to cook the turkey to perfection you use a meat thermometer—just place it into the breast so that it doesn’t touch any bone and bake until the temperature gauge reaches 180 degrees.
* A good Franksgiving gravy can be made using the drippings and whisking small amounts of cornstarch into it as it heats and thickens on the stove.