Thaw a 10 – 11 pounds turkey with packaging on a tray at the bottom rack of fridge.
Take thawed turkey from fridge and remove neck and giblets from the turkey cavity. Dry turkey with paper towel, if needed. Season cavity well with salt and pepper. Also, season lightly the exterior of bird.
Insert a spatula or your fingers between the skin and meat on breast from both ends of turkey. Loosen skin, careful not to tear it. Repeat this process all around the bird. There will be areas that is hard to reach which is fine.
Prepare the seasoning. In a large bowl, combine soften butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Blend well. Add garlic onion, chopped parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix until well incorporated.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220°C).
With turkey upright, gently lift skin on breast area and stuff with butter mixture. Stuff 2/3s of butter mixture underneath turkey skin all over bird. Some areas will be hard to reach, stuff some butter mixture at the opening then from the exterior of skin, gently massage and push butter in areas hard to reach. Add some seasoning inside the cavity too.
Stuff upper cavity with a piece of onion and lemon. On the lower cavity, add all remaining ingredients: onion, lemon, whole bunch of parsley and bay leaves.
Wrap a kitchen twine in the parson’s nose area then crisscross the drumsticks together.
Spread the remaining 1/3 butter mixture all over the exterior of bird. It doesn’t matter if you have clumps of butter mixture, it will melt once in the oven.
Place the bird in a large roasting tray, breast side up. Drizzle olive oil.
Tack in wings on its side as it will burn easily. Note: At this point, if you like to roast turkey the following day cover it with foil and refrigerate.
Insert a thermometer beneath the thigh, not drumstick and not touching the bone. It should be pointing towards the body cavity. Thermometer should reach 165 - 170 degrees F in breast and to 180 degrees F in thigh.
Roast bird at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Remove turkey from oven and baste with drippings. As you can see from the image above, some areas of breast have browned already. To control the browning and not overcook breast area, cover loosely with a foil tent. Note: Another way to use foil is towards the end of roasting, place it when about 2/3s done.
Put it back in the oven, set the temperature and time. For an 11 pound turkey, you can bake at 325 degree F for 3 hours or at 350 for 2 ½ hours.
Baste at least twice during roasting.
Check turkey legs 45 minutes before its done to check if browning is enough to your liking. Cover with foil, if needed.
Remove breast foil cover 20–25 minutes before done to brown and crisp the skin of turkey.
To check if done, temperature on meat should read 165 - 170 degree F in breast and to 180 degree F in thigh. Another way to check, insert a metal skewer into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear, rather than pink. If pink, roast for another 15 minutes and check again. Repeat as necessary until the turkey is cooked.
Once done roasting, remove turkey from oven and transfer drippings to sauce pan to make gravy. Rest turkey uncovered for 2 ½ hours. As meat relaxes, it re-absorbs the juices making it succulent, tender, juicy and easy to carve. Note: Serve gravy piping hot over turkey.
Make your gravy while turkey is resting.
Depending on your preference, serve turkey whole or carve it before serving.
Turkey Gravy with Cider and Walnuts
Drain the excess fat from the roasting pan. Use your roasting pan if safe to use on stove if not use a regular pan.
Fry 6 strips of bacon. Once crispy remove from heat and chop into smaller pieces. Keep heat on.
Take parsley, lemon, onion and garlic from turkey cavity and chop all these ingredients. Place in pan with chopped bacon. Add 2 rosemary sprigs and tomatoes to thicken gravy. Cook for about a minute or two. Take turkey wings, parson’s nose and drumstick tips and cook with gravy for a few minutes.
Pour dry cider into the mixture. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until reduced. Pour the juices from the turkey. Simmer for a few minutes until liquid is reduced by half.
Crush mixture with potato masher to extract more flavor. Pour chicken stock, bring to a boil, then lower heat until liquid is reduced by a third.
Taste if salt and pepper is needed. Turn off heat.
Use a sieve to strain gravy into a sauce pan, then press down the solids in the sieve with a ladle to extract the flavorful juice. Add a sprig of rosemary to infuse more flavor and turn off heat.
Before serving, remove rosemary sprig. Crush walnuts using a pestle and mortal. Place at the bottom of gravy boat and pour hot gravy.
Instead of using foil to cover breast area, line about 8 uncooked bacon strips on top of breast. Lay bacon after you have rubbed the seasoning outside turkey. Then use bacon for gravy.