What other time of the year than Thanksgiving do people bake a whole turkey? Well, I think they are fabulous birds. Savory. Good for you. And a whole turkey can provide a whole lot of meat...
Baked Whole Turkey
1 large 14 lbs turkey
1 onion (quartered)
1 apple (quartered)
3 bay leaves
1 cup organic apple cider
Preheat oven to 325˚(we were at high altitude, 350° otherwise). Place oven rack on lowest level in oven.
Remove the giblets from the main cavity and neck cavity. Discard the liver (or save for feasting later if you so desire) and save the rest for gravy. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, place in roasting pan with the rack let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Discard any liquid at the bottom of the roasting pan. Wash and dry the roasting pan and rack.
Place the turkey back in the rack, breast side up.
Rub 1 tbls of the Compound 'Butter' in the main cavity. Then place the onion, apple and bay leaves in the main cavity. Rub the remaining 'butter' on the inside and outside of the turkey skin. Secure the legs under the flap of the tail skin or tie them together. Bend the wingtips back behind the turkey, securing any loose neck skin underneath the wingtips.
Pour in the cider and cover with foil. Roast for 1 hour. Then remove the foil and roast another 2-3 hours. If the top is beginning to brown a bit then leave the foil on.
Baste every 30 minutes and rotate the turkey 90° each time to ensure even cooking time. When the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165˚F, remove and drain the main cavity into the pan.
Place on a cutting board and cover with foil for about 20 minutes (if it's going to be longer for the other food to be ready then cover with the foil and then a towel).
Slice and serve!
Enjoy (with the rest of the Thanksgiving Feast;))