Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, 5 minutes
Yield: Serves 8-10
- 12-14 lb. turkey, thawed if frozen
- 1 recipe My Great Grandmother's Stuffing
- Solid vegetable shortening
- Salt and pepper
Pat the turkey dry inside and out with paper towels. Do not rinse the bird; this is not necessary and will simply spread bacteria around your kitchen.
Make stuffing according to recipe. Spoon stuffing lightly into turkey neck cavity, pull skin over and secure with skewer. Spoon more stuffing lightly into body cavity and fasten closed according to Turkey 101. Melt together 2 Tbsp. solid shortening and 1/3 cup butter. Place stuffed turkey in a roasting pan and brush with melted butter mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Soak a four-layer piece of cheesecloth in the butter/shortening mixture and place on top of the turkey.
Roast turkey according to cooking charts, for stuffed turkey. I like to roast my turkey at 325 degrees F. For a 12-14 pound turkey, that will take 4-5 hours. Baste with pan juices every 1/2 hour. You can remove the cheesecloth from the turkey half an hour before you take it out of the oven, if you like, but you don't have to. When turkey registers 170 degrees F when tested in the thigh, remove from pan, remove stuffing from cavities, cover, and let rest 15-20 minutes to let juices redistribute while you make the gravy.