There are thousands of ways to ruin a turkey and only one guaranteed method that you can take to the bank. Here’s my first cookbook, bought in 1973 when I got out of the Navy. I got this recipe from a fishing buddy in New Hampshire and we tweaked it through the next 40 years or so.
When you see a recipe that looks this old and used, you know it’s good!
Yeah I know, what a mess. Here’s the typed version. No Fuss Turkey
Preheat oven to 500
Thoroughly wash turkey inside and out
Salt cavity of turkey and put wine soaked towel in cavity
Put turkey in preheated oven until skin is golden and crisp (about 40 min to an hour)
Take out and baste with stick of butter then cover with dish towel and douse with semi sweet white wine or semi dry white wine or cooking sherry (about 2-21/2 cups)
Cover tightly in foil, turn oven down to 425 and cook for 1 hour
Turn oven off and leave in oven overnight -DO NOT open oven door (put duct tape on door as reminder)
1 hour before carving take foil and towel off and put back in oven @325 for 45 minutes
I like to put the turkey on a trivet to keep it out of the broth. She says the turkey pan has a built in trivet. I disagree.
Yes, two clean dishcloths is the real magic here. And wine! We try not to use sweet wine but we did once and it was still good. Make sure the towel covering the turkey has both ends down in the wine and also be sure to drag out a tail from the internal towel and tuck it down into the wine.
If you like giblet gravy like I do, wait until the turkey is done and use the drippings. You’ll have to pour out the drippings into a pan anyhow to get your turkey on a platter. I prefer red wine for my giblet gravy.
Don’t try to remove the turkey alone, it’s a two man job. Dumping the broth is also a two-man job. Gotta hold that turkey while you tilt the pan.
It might make good sense to use a third towel under the turkey to help lift it without damage.
You start this turkey a few hours before bedtime then just shut off oven and go to bed. The house smells great the next morning.