Thanksgiving is the time for a big bird; here’s a well tested family approach that nicely combines savory and sweet.
Serves 15; 175 mgs. of sodium per serving
- 1 15-lb. turkey
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 cups unsalted pecan halves
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 stick (8 tbsps.) unsalted butter
Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place an oven rack in the lowest position so that the turkey will fit in the oven. Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry. Place it on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Mix the pecans and the cranberries together with the celery. Put the thyme in the cavity of the bird with half the pecan-cranberry mixture. Spread the rest of the pecan-cranberry mix around the bird in the roasting pan. Distribute the pieces of diced onion around the turkey and season the whole thing with pepper. Place the stick of butter on top of the turkey, pressing it into the breastbone so that it remains in place as it melts and put the turkey in the oven. Cook the turkey for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and baste it with the juices that have collected in the bottom of the pan. Reduce the oven heat to 350, cover the roasting pan with a lid or aluminum foil and return to the oven. Cook for 25 minutes to the pound — about 3 1/2 to 4 hours — remembering to baste every half hour. Take the turkey out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. Remove the cranberries and the pecans from the roasting pan and the cavity of the bird with a slotted spoon and use as garnish around the bird when carved.