Who needs butter? A slather of mayonnaise on your turkey pulls double duty by standing in as a flavorful rub as well as adding moisture and fat to often dry meat. And what’s particularly great is that it browns the skin beautifully without the constant basting that most birds need.
Cook Time: 3 hrs. 15 mins.
- 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 4 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- One 10- to 12-pound turkey
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 head garlic, halved across the garlic cloves
- Several sprigs fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, rosemary and sage
- 2 bay leaves
- Adjust a rack in the lowest position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Set a roasting rack in a large roasting pan.
- Stir together the mayonnaise, paprika, dried parsley, garlic powder, dried thyme, ground sage, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Remove any turkey parts from the neck and breast cavities and reserve for other uses if desired. Dry the bird well with paper towels, inside and out. Rub the mayonnaise mixture all over the turkey, including the cavity, trying to make it as smooth as possible, especially on the breast so it browns evenly. Stuff the cavity with the onion, garlic, herb sprigs and bay leaves.
- Set the bird breast-side up on the prepared roasting rack. Tent the bird with foil.
- Roast the turkey for 2 hours. Remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Add a cup of water to the bottom of the pan so that the drippings don’t burn and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F in the thigh, 30 to 45 minutes. Let the turkey rest about 20 minutes before carving. You can strain the pan drippings and serve them on the side or reserve and blend them into your gravy for extra flavor.