Chef John Folse’s Roasted Turkey

Prep Time: 4 Hours

Yields: 10–12 Servings


When planning a dinner, remember that one pound of uncooked turkey will feed one person. Allow bird to defrost in the refrigerator for approximately two days prior to roasting.


1 (15-pound) turkey

salt and cracked black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

¼ pound butter, softened

2 tbsps minced garlic

6 basil leaves

4 cups diced onions

2 cups diced celery

2 cups diced carrots

3 oranges, quartered

8 whole cloves garlic

paprika for color


Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove giblets from neck cavity. If a wire retainer is holding legs in place, remove it prior to seasoning bird. Rinse turkey well, inside and out, with cold water. Place in a roasting pan and season generously, inside and out, with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Extra seasoning should be placed inside cavity. Blend butter and minced garlic then rub mixture under breast skin. Place 3 basil leaves under skin on each side of breast. Stuff half of onions, celery, carrots, oranges and garlic cloves inside bird and place remaining half in baking pan. Squeeze juice of 2 orange quarters over turkey breast. Rub paprika evenly on breasts and legs. Tie legs in place with butcher's twine then cover roasting pan tightly with foil. Bake approximately 3½ hours then remove foil and check meat. Turkey is done when legs pull away easily and internal temperature reaches 170°F. Remove cover and allow turkey to brown 30 minutes. It is best to allow bird to rest 30–45 minutes prior to carving. Serve turkey with natural drippings, or strain drippings and thicken with a light roux. A turkey usually requires a cooking time of 12–15 minutes per pound.