When you’re shopping, look for a bird labeled “pasture raised” and “organic,” because a turkey that’s been raised without hormones, steroids, or antibiotics—and hasn’t been injected with flavor-faking liquids—will taste better. When you prep it, season it with simply salt and pepper, not a slathering of oil or butter—it’s important that the skin be completely dry when you put it in the oven.


  • 1 turkey (12 to 16 lbs)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat oven to 400°.
  2. Place turkey, breast-side down, on a rack in a large baking dish; rub salt and pepper over it.
  3. Cover with foil, poke holes in foil, and roast for 45 minutes.
  4. Turn breast-side up; roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F in the breast and 170°F in the thigh.
  5. Let rest for 30 minutes.
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