A good roast turkey recipe is as simple as rubbing the turkey with butter, dusting it with herbs and spices, and roasting it in an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes per pound. The turkey should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer when fully cooked.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove giblets from interior of the turkey, rinse turkey with cold water, and pat dry. Carefully loosen skin over the breast, and insert 2 tablespoons of butter under the skin. Rub the rest of the turkey with 1/4 cup of butter, and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Variations for seasonings include 1 teaspoon of thyme, 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning or 1 teaspoon of rosemary, sprinkled over the turkey prior to roasting. Some recipes call for inserting onion, celery or a lemon into the cavity of the turkey.
The turkey is placed on a rack in a shallow baking pan. When the turkey is being stuffed, it is stuffed immediately before being placed into the oven. Cover the turkey with foil, and roast for 20 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow the skin to brown.