- 1 fresh turkey, about 16 lb., neck, heart
and gizzard removed (reserved, if desired)
- 2 cups sweetened cranberry juice
- 6 Tbs. (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter,
melted and cooled
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbs. turkey herbs
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cranberry juice to a boil and cook until reduced to 3/4 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Add 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) of the butter and stir until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Remove the giblets and neck, if included, and reserve for making gravy, if desired. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard excess fat. Season the body cavity with salt and pepper, and place the herbs inside the cavity. If desired, truss the turkey with kitchen twine. Spread the remaining 2 Tbs. butter over the turkey breast, and season the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper.
Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325°F and roast for about 1 1/2 hours more, then begin basting every 15 minutes with the cranberry juice mixture. Add about 1 cup water to the pan to keep the glaze from burning. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the breast, away from the bone, registers 165°F, and inserted into the thigh registers 175°F. Total roasting time should be 3 to 3 1/2 hours. If the breast begins to cook too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil.
Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter, cover loosely with foil and let rest for about 20 minutes before carving.