Turkey for a Crowd

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    This is the turkey recipe that I use for the Lefko/Cieslak/Nash Thanksgiving Dinner.


  1. 2 medium onions, chopped coarse
  2. 2 medium carrots, chopped coarse
  3. 2 ribs celery, chopped coarse
  4. 2 sprigs fresh thyme, (3 to 4 inches each)
  5. 1 frozen turkey, thawed (Butterball or kosher turkey, 18 to 22 pounds gross weight), neck, heart, and gizzard reserved for gravy, turkey rinsed and thoroughly dried with paper towels
  6. 4 T butter, melted
  7. 2 t kosher salt, or 1 teaspoon table salt
  8. 1 t pepper


  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position; remove remaining racks.
  2. Heat oven to 425°F.
  3. Line large V-rack with heavy-duty foil and poke holes in foil; set V-rack in 15- by 12-inch roasting pan.
  4. Toss onions, carrots, celery, and thyme in medium bowl; set aside.
  5. Brush turkey breast with 2 tablespoons butter, then sprinkle with half of salt and half of pepper.
  6. Set turkey breast-side down on V-rack.
  7. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.
  8. Fill cavity with half of onion mixture; scatter rest in roasting pan and pour 1 cup water into pan.
  9. Roast turkey 1 hour; remove roasting pan with turkey from oven.
  10. Lower oven temperature to 325°F.
  11. Using clean dishtowel or 2 potholders, turn turkey breast-side up; return roasting pan with turkey to oven and continue to roast until legs move freely and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 180 °F, about 2 hours longer.
  12. Transfer turkey to carving board and let rest, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes.
  13. Carve and serve.
  14. Drippings can be reserved, strained and added to gravy.

Picture of Recipe

Turkey for a Crowd - Picture of Recipe
Serves: 20 to 24
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 to 4 hours
Course: Entree
Key Ingredient: Turkey,Onions,Carrots
Difficulty: 3 - Difficult
Make Ahead: No
Prep Method: Oven Bake
Themes/Holidays: Thanksgiving

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