Herb Butter Oven Roasted Turkey

‘Tis the Season of Turkey

herb_butter_roasted_turkeyI am always on the search for a delicious oven roasted turkey recipe but this year, although I’m sure there are recipes very similar, I decided to wing it and throw some things together myself.

The two things that concern me the most when cooking a turkey is ensuring that it is cooked through and that it doesn’t dry out.  After years of experimenting and even a few turkey fails, I think I’ve finally mastered those things plus created my favorite way to make an oven roasted turkey.

Fresh herbs have become a staple in my cooking.  My family never really used fresh herbs, they’ve always used the dried or powdered ones which isn’t a bad thing, the food is still amazing!  Wanting to try different things, I started experimenting with fresh herbs when I moved from Texas to California, nearly 10 years ago.  My first project,after I move into a place where I can plant things, will be a herb garden and lucky for me, it can be year round! So if you are like me and do not grow your own fresh herbs, you can of course, find them in the grocery store.  My local store provides, among the produce part of the refrigerated section, conveniently made herb bundles of thyme, sage and rosemary.  If you don’t have the ready made bundles, just grab them separately. Not only will you use this for your herb butter, but they are also used in your stuffing, if you follow my holiday stuffing recipe.

You will also need a food processor.  I recently purchased one several months back and I’m telling you what…I have been kicking myself in the behind for not buying one sooner!  It has made my life so much easier since I prepare home cooked meals several times a day.  I shred cheese in it, I make soups, chop, dice, blend, pulverize, it’s amazing!

So let’s move on to this turkey recipe…so simple and your guests will definitely be impressed!

Herb Butter Oven Roasted Turkey

15 pound turkey (if you have a smaller turkey, just reduce ingredients)
3 sticks of softened butter
3 sprigs Rosemary (chopped fine)
4 sprigs of Thyme (chopped fine)
4 sprigs of Sage (chopped fine)
Foil for tenting
Roasting pan

Make sure that your turkey is completely defrosted.  If you pull your turkey out and it is still a little frozen, place it in your sink in luke warm water, it will thaw quicker.  Ideally, you want it to be room temperature but you can get away with it being a little chilly.

Remove the innards.  Meaning the liver, gizzards, neck…some people keep these items to make giblet gravy, personally, I do not.

Place your turkey in the roasting pan, on the roasting rack.  Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper.

Set to side and start on your herb butter.  Place your softened butter and herbs in the food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are combined and the herbs are finely chopped.  The great part about the food processor, you can throw the herbs in whole.  It makes life so much easier!

It’s time to bathe your turkey in glorious butter!!!  Your turkey should be sitting in the roasting pan, breasts up.  Gently lift the turkey skin over the breasts and down the sides so you can slide your butter filled hand in between the skin and turkey meat.  This coats the underside of the skin and the mean with butter and herbs.  PLUS it keep your breasts tender and moist, which tend to dry out if not properly lubricated.  After you have generously coated the underside of the skin with herb butter, arrange skin so it is neatly in place and begin covering the outside of your turkey.  Do not miss an inch!  Turn your turkey over and slather the underside, then turn it right side up again.

Once the turkey is completely covered in herb butter, tuck the wings under the turkey and make sure your legs are secured together.  This makes for a “pretty” cooked turkey.

Cover your turkey loosely with foil, it should look like a tent.

Pop your turkey in 325 degree oven and cook 30 minutes for every pound.  For my 15 pound turkey, I cooked it 7.5 hours.

*If you are stuffing your turkey, halfway through the cooking process, I add my stuffing to the roasting pan.  About 3.5 hours in, I pull the turkey out of the oven.  I remove it from the roasting pan by placing the rack on a baking sheet and I mix my dressing, or stuffing, into the roasting pan.  This incorporates the turkey drippings…yum!!  And remember, check out my stuffing how to!

After the stuffing is prepared, I remove my turkey from the rack and place it right on top of the stuffing.  I “stuff” my turkey with the cornbread dressing and place my meat thermometer right in the middle of the stuffing inside the turkey.  Place back into the 325 degree oven.  You want your thermometer to reach 165 degrees!!!  It’s very important that you reach this or you and your guests could get sick!!

After your turkey and stuffing has reached the desired temperature, remove and let rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving.  Enjoy!!!


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