Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter and a few tips for Thanksgiving Day Success

Thursday, November 22, 2012

*Method adapted from Alton Brown and Sassy Radish

I like to keep things simple and organized. What I have discovered from hosting thanksgiving is that PLANNING is the key to success. If you are organized, even the turkey is not that scary.

I think this year I have really outdone myself and it's because I was way more organized then usual.
I also realized that making the turkey is way easier and FASTER then I thought.

This is my final product and star of the Thanksgiving Day Show.

I buy a kosher antibiotic free turkey every year as I do not like a dry turkey nor do I have space in my fridge to brine a turkey.


1 KOSHER Turkey (mine was about 13 pounds)
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature

4 cloves garlic: 2 smashed, 2 finely chopped
1 tablespoon sea salt

4 shallots or one onion sliced


  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (unchopped)
  • 4 sprigs of sage (unchopped)

1) Let turkey come to room temperature, this will take a while so plan in advance. I woke up extra early, took the turkey out and got started on the sides. My bird was room temperature in about 3 hours.

2) Once turkey is at room temperature, wash and pat dry with paper towels.

3) Preheat oven to 500F. Place turkey on roasting rack in roasting pan. If you don't have one, you can make a foil "snake" like contraption and place on the bottom. This will keep your turkey from floating around in the oil/juices it will be spewing.

4) In a large bowl, combine your softened butter, and the CHOPPED herbs. Reserve the unchopped for later. Also, salt, pepper, and chopped garlic. Smoosh it all together because you are about to give your bird a very nice massage. Giggle.

5) MAKE SURE YOUR TURKEYS is at room temperature and is dry. Rub is all over with herbed butter. Make sure to get some under the skin as well. Really get in there like nobody's business.

6) Once your turkey massage is complete, add the shallots, smashed garlic and the UNCHOPPED herbs into the cavity.

7) Take your foil and fold it over to make a triangle. You will need this later to protect the breast from drying out. You will be placing it on the breast pointy side down with the other two points tucked under the wings.  Butter this on both sides. Reserve for later.

8) At this point, your oven should be preheated. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes at 500 degrees. If your smoke alarm is crazy like mine, during this time, it may go off. I actually had to remove the batteries from mine temporarily as it was alarming despite oven windows and door. Watch your turkey, if it's breast is getting too brown, cover with breast plate prior to 30 minutes end.

9) Once 30 minutes are up, reduce oven temperature to 350F and put on breast place if you have not already. Insert thermometer alarm set to 161 degrees. My 13 pound bird took about 2 hours from start to finish--1/2 hour at 500 and 1 1/2 hours at 350.

10) Remove from oven. If you need to, you can reheat at 350 for about 15 minutes

Here you have it. No basting, no brining! Easy Peasy.

I served this with:

Dressing of Cornbread, Sausage, Chestnuts and Leeks

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Candied Yams

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Crunchy Bacon

Butternut Squash Apple Leek Soup with Fried Sage

Another side was pan seared hericot verts--forgot to take a picture.

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