½ cup butter, softened ¼ cup packed brown sugar 2 Tablespoons snipped fresh marjoram or 2 teaspoons dried marjoram, crushed 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel 1 14- to 16-pound turkey ¼ cup bourbon Salt Pepper Fresh herbs (optional)
1. For glaze, combine butter, brown sugar, marjoram, and lemon peel in a small mixing bowl.
2. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Using your fingers, separate turkey skin from breast meat, being careful not to tear skin or pierce meat. Spread about half of the glaze over the breast meat under the skin.
3. Melt remaining glaze; cool slightly. Stir in bourbon. Brush mixture over outside of turkey.
4. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Pull neck skin to back and fasten with a short skewer. Tuck drumsticks under the band of skin that crosses the tail. If there isn’t a band, tie drumsticks to tail.
5. Twist wing tips under back.
6. Insert a meat thermometer in the center of an inside thigh muscle. The thermometer bulb should not touch bone.
7. Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast in a 325°F oven for 3¾ to 4¼ hours or until thermometer registers 180°F.
8. After 3 hours, cut the skin or string between drumsticks. Remove foil the last 30 minutes of roasting to let bird brown.
9. Turkey is done when drumsticks move very easily in their sockets and their thickest parts feel soft when pressed.
10. Remove turkey from oven and cover loosely with foil. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving. If desired, garnish platter with fresh herbs.