Herb Butter Roast Turkey is the star of any Thanksgiving meal for good reason. It’s tender, juicy and packed full of flavor.
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I will never forget the first time I made Thanksgiving dinner. My mom had surgery a few days prior and was out of commission on terms of cooking. I’ll never forget her telling my brother and I that we were responsible for making dinner. He was a freshman in college, and I was still in high school. Nervous doesn’t begin to describe what I felt. It was a big deal! So I prepped like I was Elle Woods studying for her LSAT; Food Network was on 24/7, grocery lists were made, recipes cards were pulled, concessions were made. We were not going to mess it up!
There are some moments in my life that I can genuinely say I’ve been incredibly proud. My brother and I crushing that Thanksgiving dinner was definitely one of those moments. Thank the Lord for my brother and really good turkey! 🙂
Tips for a perfect herb butter roast turkey:
- Make sure your turkey is completely thawed. The easiest way to accomplish this is to stick it in you refrigerator roughly two days before you plan on cooking it. This time will vary depending on the size of your turkey.
- I highly recommend using a roasting pan with a rack. I divide the vegetables in half, placing some into the turkey cavity and the rest in the pan to help flavor the gravy.
- We’re using lots of butter…and aggressive amount of butter. For starters, it will help keep our bird nice and juicy. It will also help ensure the turkey browns evenly.
- We’re making compound butter, which is the fancy way of saying we’re adding herbs and spices to the butter. I like to make the compound butter ahead of time and divide the recipe in two. One half will go in between the skin and the breast and the other half will be rubbed all over the rest of the bird.
- Tent the turkey. Seriously, if there is one thing I’ve learned, you want to tent your turkey. It helps to cook the turkey more evenly while hindering any premature browning. The foil should be removed 30 minutes before the turkey is removed from the oven to allow it to be basted and browned.
- Save those pan juices. It’s liquid gold and the best thing to use for turkey gravy.
- For this recipe, we are stuffing the cavity with vegetables and herbs. This may or may not effect the cooking time for the turkey.
I love a this recipe, but even more so I love what it represents. Thanksgiving, now more than ever, is a time for connection and laughter. It is a time to reflect on the blessing we have in our lives, despite the challenges that we’ve had to overcome. I hope you have a healthy, safe, and wonderful holiday with you any yours. Enjoy 🙂
Herb Butter Roast Turkey
- Roasting Pan with Rack
- 18 lbs whole turkey cleaned and thawed
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- ½ tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano
- 5 whole carrots rinsed and roughly chopped
- 2 whole heads garlic halved
- 4 whole yellow onions halved
- 4 whole celery stalks rinsed and roughly chopped
- ½ cup chicken stock
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Combine the butter, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, and dried thyme in a large bowl. Take half of the butter mixture and place it on a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Gently roll the butter into a log and refrigerate for 30 minutes until slightly set.
- Place half of the vegetables in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the rack over the vegetables. Place the turkey in the roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels.
- Remove the chilled butter from the fridge and slice. Gently separate the skin from both the breasts and stuff with the sliced butter. Rub the outside of the turkey with the remaining butter. Stuff the inside cavity of the turkey with the remaining vegetables and fresh herbs. Pour the chicken stock into the bottom of the pan.
- Tent the roasting pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and place in the pan in the oven to cook.
- Remove the aluminum foil from the pan when the turkey is ⅔ of the way cooked. Remove the turkey from the oven when the thigh has reached 165°F. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.