Apple Farm Roast Turkey

recipe photo

Watching Karen Bates in action in her video recipes, it's easy to see why she's head chef of her family's Apple Farm cooking school. Though the written recipes below provide the basics for her family's traditional Thanksgiving Roast Turkey, Spicy Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes and Pumpkin Pie, there's truly no substitute for her casual kitchen wisdom to really make these dishes sing.

Take Karen's advice and make a stock out of the giblets. The stock gets added to the roasting pan to be used later for gravy.


  • 1 small Heritage Turkey
  • 2 yellow onions, cut in wedges
  • 3–4 oranges, cut in wedges
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano, half on stalks, half with leaves removed
  • 3 sticks melted butter
  • Salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Rub orange wedges into the neck cavity and leave them inside, along with a few stalks of oregano. Seal the neck flap with bamboo skewers. Combine thoroughly the remaining orange wedges with onion wedges and oregano stalks.
  • Add ¼ cup of butter, a few pinches of salt and pepper, and stuff mixture into the main cavity.
  • Close the cavity by securing the drumsticks.
  • Chop oregano leaves and add them to the remaining melted butter, along with generous amounts of salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the turkey skin.
  • Place the turkey in the pan and put it in the hot oven. After the skin browns for about 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 350 degrees and cook the turkey using a thermometer.
  • Remember to baste periodically. The turkey is done when the internal temperature reads 165–170 degrees. Let it rest, then move it to a platter before carving.