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Roast Wild Turkey

Cornbread dressing is especially good with this entree.


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 canned chipotle chile, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 (8- to 10-pound) wild turkey, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted turkey or chicken
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper


  1. Begin preparing the turkey the night before you plan to bake it. Combine butter with the garlic and other seasonings with an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth. Loosen the turkey's skin with your fingers, being careful not to tear it. Rub the turkey inside and out with the butter, especially under the breast skin. Place the turkey in a large plastic bag and refrigerate it overnight.
  2. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator about 1 hour before you plan to begin baking it.
  3. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease the rack of a roasting pan.
  4. Transfer the turkey breast-side down to the roasting pan. Roast it in this position for 1 hour, reducing the oven temperature to 325 degrees F after the first 20 minutes.
  5. Turn the turkey breast-side up, avoiding tearing the skin or piercing the flesh. Baste the bird with some of the stock and accumulated pan juices. Allow a total roasting time of about 13 to 15 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F to 160 degrees F. Continue basting every 20 to 30 minutes during the remaining roasting time. Cover the breast with a foil tent toward the end if it appears to be browning too quickly, but keep basting.
  6. Remove the turkey from the oven, tent it with foil, and let it sit for about 20 minutes before carving it.
  7. Add any remaining stock to the drippings, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the roasting pan, and pour the liquid into a small saucepan. Degrease the liquid. Bring it to a boil, and reduce it as needed to make a thin sauce that can be spooned over the bird like gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Slice the turkey thin, and serve it on a platter with the sauce.

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