Roast Turkey with Herbs

  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. Lift wingtips up and over back, and tuck under bird.
  3. Loosen skin from turkey breast without totally detaching skin; carefully place several rosemary sprigs and sage leaves under skin. Replace skin.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Yield: 12 servings

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!

This entry was posted in Main Dishes, Weekly Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s