Just because your mother got up at five in the morning to cook a turkey, doesn't mean you have to. You can make a great tasting, juicy bird in only a couple of hours by following the steps below.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Unwrap turkey and remove neck and bag of organs. Bring to the sink and thoroughly rinse with cool running water inside and out. Let water drip from the bird and salt the inside cavity.
Coat the bottom of the roasting pan with olive oil and a splash of the red wine vinegar. Place turkey in pan breast side up and tuck the wings behind the bird, out of the way. Massage olive oil to all exposed parts of the bird adding some red wine vinegar, just a few little splashes with do. When bird is glistening from the oil, add some salt and pepper.
Put turkey in hot oven and check after about 20 minutes for brownness.. Add more time if turkey is not golden brown. When it is the desired color, take a large sheet of tin foil and tent it over the bird so the browning will stop. This also allows the heat to build up and steam to form, keeping the turkey moist. Juices will form at bottom of the pan, use that liquid to baste the bird when you check it.
Check to see if the turkey is done after a total of 2 hours. Turkey is done when either a timer pops out, a thermometer reads 180 degrees from several areas, and the legs and wings can be easily taken off.
Let turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving so that the juices inside have time to settle throughout the bird.
It's a good idea to rinse the thermometer after each time you check the bird. Dressing should be added inside the bird after it's cooked thoroughly. Other favorite seasonings can be used with the olive oil such as minced garlic. A frozen turkey should thaw in the refrigerator for four days before cooking.
Wash hands, surfaces and utensils well in soapy water after touching raw bird.