Roast Turkey

Makes 10-12 Servings.

You do not have to wait for Thanksgiving to serve this dish, as it is surprisingly easy to make and always very tasty. I often serve it when I have a large group of people to feed. It is a favorite, and leftovers are always welcome.  A slightly different version of this recipe first appeared in my cookbook, Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine.  


  • 12 pound organic turkey
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 3 onions
  • 5 sprigs rosemary, plus leaves from 2 sprigs, chopped for pan juices
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted
  • Kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Discard any excess fat from the turkey. Rinse it inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Combine lemon juice, soy sauce and pepper.
  4. Combine the orange juice and wine in a measuring cup with a spout (to make basting easier).
  5. Peel and chop 2 onions coarsely and scatter in the roasting pan.
  6. Cut the other onion in quarters and place in the cavity along with the rosemary sprigs.
  7. Place the turkey in the roasting pan and season with lemon juice mixture (use your hands to smear the bird.
  8. Brush the turkey with the melted margarine and place it on its side.
  9. Roast the turkey for 1 hour, basting with the orange juice/wine mixture.
  10. Turn the turkey over on the other side and roast for another 1 hour, continuing to baste.
  11. Turn the breast side up and roast for 20 minutes, continuing to baste.
  12. For the final 20 minutes, place the turkey breast-side down (if the drumsticks begin to get too brown, cover the ends with foil).
  13. The turkey is ready when the drumsticks move easily in their sockets and the juices run clear. If you use a meat thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 160º F.
  14. Remove the turkey from the oven and cover tightly with heavy foil and let rest for 30   minutes. This allows the juices to flow back into the meat.
  15. Place the turkey on a cutting board, discard the onion and rosemary and carve. Pour the pan juices into a saucepan and put in the freezer so that the fat can quickly rise to the top (this makes it easier to remove).
  16. When ready to serve, heat the pan juices, add the chopped rosemary and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve this sauce with the turkey.


I allow 12 minutes per pound for roasting time.