Remember how your mother used to get up at 4 a.m. on Thanksgiving so she could put the turkey in the oven to roast for ten hours? Then she had to baste it all day to keep it from drying out, which, of course, it did anyway? Forget it. A 12- to 15-pound turkey cooks in 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and you let it rest for at least 20 minutes before you carve it. Everyone will say, “This is the best turkey I ever ate.” I use an organic turkey whenever I can


  • 1 fresh turkey (12-15 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

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 loosely with the Herb & Apple Stuffing (recipe follows). 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.

Roast the turkey for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, 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.

Slice the turkey and serve with the stuffing.

Serves 8.