Roast Turkey with Oranges and Onions

Our traditional roasted turkey, when smoking it is not an option.


4-8 servings


  • 1 12-14 lb turkey, basted, kosher, or brined
  • 2 navel oranges, cut into eighths
  • 3 red onions, peeled and cut into eighths
  • 6 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water


Rinse the turkey inside and out. Reservet the giblets for gravy. Pat dry. If time permits, place in the refrigerator several hours uncovered on a rack over a cookie sheet. Drying the skin will help keep it crispy.

Heat the over to 400 degrees and place a rack on the lowest shelf. Fill the turkey cavity with one onion, the oranges and the bay leaves. Truss the legs together, and pin the skin flap at the top of the neck closed. Place the turkey, breast side up, in a v-rack set in a roasting pan. Brush the top with 1/4 of the melted butter. Turn the turkey over, and brush the back with another 1/4 of the butter.

Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, closing he door. Toss the remaining onions with the remaining butter and scatter around the base of the turkey in the roasting pan. Add 1/2 cup water to the roasting pan. Turn the turkey 1/4 (mitts or paper towels help. Admittedly this is difficult, but it works well), so that the leg is facing up. Return to the oven.

Roast another 15 mins. Remove the turkey from the oven. Baste, and then turn the turkey 180 degrees around the lengthwise axis, so the other leg is sticking up. If the onions are beginning to burn add a little more water.

Roast another 15 mins. Remove the turkey, baste, and then flip so that the breast is facing up. Roast until the breast registers 165 degrees and the thigh registers 170, approx. 30-45 minutes more. Remove and let sit 30 minutes before carving.


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