- 1 (12-14-pound turkey)
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary sprigs
- 6 fresh large sage leaves
- 1 cooking apple, cut into quarters
- 1 stalk celery, cut in half
- 1 onion cut in half
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
- Garnishes: apple wedges, kumquats, rosemary sprigs, sage leaves
- Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for another use such as making broth. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Drain body cavity well. Place turkey in a greased broiler pan or roasting pan.
- Lift wingtips up and over back, and tuck under bird.
- Loosen skin from turkey breast without totally detaching skin; carefully place several rosemary sprigs and sage leaves under skin. Replace skin.
- Place apple quarters, celery, and onion into body cavity of turkey. Place remaining rosemary and sage into neck cavity. Brush entire bird with melted butter. Loosely cover turkey with heavy-duty aluminium foil.
- Bake at 325° for 3 to 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh registers 180°, basting often with pan drippings. uncover turkey during the last hour of cooking. (To prevent overcooking, begin checking turkey for doneness after 3 hours.) Remove turkey from roasting pan; cover and let stand 15 minutes before carving. Reserve drippings for gravy. Garnish if desired.
From: The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook
Gray: This turned out very well. I wanted to see if I could improve on my turkey roasting this year, so I tried out a new recipe. We have a rosemary hedge in front of our house, so this was a natural.
Roasting a turkey is dead-simple. At least it should be. I think where people run into trouble is that they don’t have the right equipment. The cost is minimal, and most ovens come with a broiler pan if you don’t want to buy a roasting pan. The most critical piece of equipment is an good (read: you know it works) instant-read meat thermometer. The only other thing you need is some aluminum foil.
I have a couple of notes/tweaks on this recipe. I usually cook a turkey to 165° in the thigh, instead of the 180° that the recipe suggests, and then pull it out and let it rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Since I have always had a hard time getting pan juices going for the gravy I also put 1 quart of water in my roaster to help get that process started. I have never found the need to baste the turkey, but I always brush it with butter, and sprinkle it with seasoned salt. My mom always sprinkled seasoned salt on chicken when she roasted it, and I can’t roast a bird without it.
I was afraid that the rosemary would overpower the turkey, but it didn’t and the result was a great tasting, flavorful bird. You could really taste the herbs without being blown away. This is one of the best turkeys I have roasted, and I will definitely be using this technique again in the future.
Katie: I didn’t think it was possible to improve upon the turkey Gray has been making for Thanksgiving the last several years. I was wrong! I loved the herb taste and aroma! They did not overpower, but just added to the turkey’s flavor. I think everyone loved it just as much as we did. The only thing I thought of is that the apple flavor didn’t seem to come through, so maybe put two apples in the cavity instead of one. It was delicious!