5 from 2 votes
Herb Roasted Turkey
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 10 mins
 
Servings: 12 people
Author: Gaby Dalkin
Ingredients
For the Herb Roasted Turkey
  • 1 14-16 pound turkey thawed if frozen
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 handfuls of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 handfuls of fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 handfuls of fresh sage leaves
  • 3 teaspoons coarse salt plus more for seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper plus more for seasoning
  • 2 lemons each cut into halves
For the Homemade Gravy
  • 1 recipe Turkey Gravy
Instructions
For the Herb Roasted Turkey
  1. If you are using a frozen turkey, remove the turkey from the freezer a few days before Thanksgiving and let it thaw out in the refrigerator. (If you are brining the turkey - see the link above on steps)

  2. When you're ready to roast the bird, remove the turkey from the brine / refrigerator, remove the giblets from inside, and pat dry with paper towels. Let it rest on a baking sheet for 2 hours until it comes to room temperature.

  3. In a food processor, combine the butter, lemon zest, 1 handful of parsley, 1 handful of thyme and 1 handful of sage leaves and pulse for 1-2 minutes until everything is evenly incorporated. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and pulse for a few seconds more. Remove the compound butter from the food processor and set aside.
  4. Once the turkey is prepped, place it in a large roasting pan, breast side up on a metal rack.
  5. Using your hands, smear the butter all over the turkey. Liberally season the bird with salt and pepper and use your hands to pat everything down onto the skin.
  6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, with rack on lowest level.
  7. Fill the inside of the bird with the remaining handfuls of herbs and the halved lemons, making sure everything is stuffed inside the bird. Tie the legs together with a bit of kitchen twine and place the bird into the oven and roast for 30 minutes at 450 degrees F.
  8. After 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue to cook for about 2 more hours, basting turkey with drippings from the bottom and rotating the pan every 30-45 minutes.
  9. After 2.5 hours of cooking time, use a meat thermometer and check the thickest part of the turkey so make sure the internal temperature is 175 degrees. The turkey should be golden brown at this point. If the turkey is not done, continue to cook it until the thermometer registers at 175 degrees F.
  10. If the turkey is done but isn't quite golden brown yet, crank the heat up to 450 degrees and blast it for 15 minutes to crisp up the skin.
Recipe Notes

Trying to save some time - make the compound butter a few days ahead of time and keep it stored in the refrigerator until it's time to use