What would an American holiday be without a turkey? This herbed roasted turkey recipe is perfect for anyone who wants a traditional Thanksgiving. Infused with fresh rosemary and sage, this bird carries a wonderful aroma that will fill your home and have mouths watering until dinnertime.
You may want to serve it up along with some Thanksgiving side dishes like buttery mashed potatoes, old-fashioned stuffing and homemade pumpkin pie. In many households, cooking the holiday turkey is a rite of passage. This is an easy turkey recipe that will allow you to impress all your loved ones without going crazy with stress!
Roasting a turkey is a lot more difficult than it seems at first glance; in order to make sure the bird is fully cooked, you have to frequently measure the temperature and baste to avoid burning. Of course, cooking it too long runs the chance of dry turkey, which lacks all of the supple, juicy meat everyone wants a pile of.
Cooking the Best Thanksgiving Turkey
There are lots of ways to make a turkey; some people deep-fry, some smoke it and others grill. Roasting is the easiest way to cook a turkey; all you really have to do is turn on the oven and check in every 45 minutes or so.
Our herbed roasted turkey calls for one 12 to 14-pound bird. Thanksgiving dinner takes preparation and patience; you'll need to defrost your turkey before you roast it. For a turkey between 10 to 14 pounds, you'll need anywhere between one to three days in the fridge.
If you can defrost your turkey in the fridge, that's always ideal, but we understand that sometimes, it just isn't possible. You may have forgotten amid all the holiday chaos, or find yourself hosting Thanksgiving dinner at the last minute.
Don't panic; you can dethaw a turkey this since by soaking it in cold water for two to six hours. While it's defrosting, you can spend your time making some Thanksgiving crafts with the kids and whipping up your sides and desserts!
How to Serve a Thanksgiving Turkey
Now that you've gotten your herbed roasted turkey in the oven, how will you present it at dinner? The most traditional way is to carve at the table, allowing your guests to specify whether they'd prefer the breast, thigh or a drumstick, or simply whether they like white or dark meat.
You may also decide to go in a different direction, presenting the turkey already carved, sliced and ready-to-eat on a serving tray with a side of gravy and fresh seasonings. No matter what you choose, guests will be sure to gobble up this herbed roasted turkey recipe. You may even want to make two if you have a lot of guests coming; we're sure everyone will be asking for seconds and thirds!Print
Herbed Roasted Turkey
- Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
- 1 whole 12 to 14 pound turkey
- ½ cup rosemary sprigs (fresh)
- ½ cup sage leaves (fresh)
- 1 apple (quartered)
- 1 stalk celery (halved)
- 1 onion (halved)
- ½ cup butter (melted)
Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for other uses if desired.
Rinse turkey with cold water and pat dry. Loosen skin from the turkey breast a bit not totally detaching.
Place rosemary and sage under skin then smooth skin over herbs and back into place. Place apple celery and onion into the neck cavity.
Place the turkey breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and brush with melted butter.
Cover turkey loosely with a “tent” of aluminum foil. Bake at 325°F until meat thermometer registers about 180°F. This should take from 3½ to 4 hours but begin checking after 3 hours.
Remove turkey and let stand 15 minutes before carving. Serve with gravy.
- Prep Time: 45
- Cook Time: 245