Wondering how you can make this year’s turkey better and more flavorful than last year’s turkey? Well, we’ve found a recipe that you, your family and friends will all love so much you’ll be making it for years to come!
For the Herb Roasted Turkey
- 1 14-16 pound turkey, thawed if frozen
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 handfuls of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 handfuls of fresh thyme leaves
- 2 handfuls of fresh sage leaves
- 3 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 2 lemons, each cut into halves
For the Homemade Gravy
- Turkey drippings from the bird
- 2-3 cups chicken or turkey stock
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
For the Herb Roasted Turkey
- If you are using a frozen turkey, remove the turkey from the freezer a few days before Thanksgiving and let it thaw out in the refrigerator.
- When you’re ready to roast the bird, remove the turkey from the refrigerator, remove the giblets from inside, rinse turkey with cool water, and pat dry with paper towels. Let it rest on a baking sheet for 2 hours until it comes to room temperature.
- In a food processor, combine the butter, lemon zest, 1 handful of parsley, 1 handful of thyme and 1 handful of sage leaves and pulse for 1-2 minutes until everything is evenly incorporated. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and pulse for a few seconds more. Remove the compound butter from the food processor and set aside.
- Once the turkey is prepped, place it in a large roasting pan, breast side up on a metal rack.
- Using your hands, smear the butter all over the turkey. Liberally season the bird with salt and pepper and use your hands to pat everything down onto the skin.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, with rack on lowest level.
- Fill the inside of the bird with the remaining handfuls of herbs and the halved lemons, making sure everything is stuffed inside the bird. Tie the legs together with a bit of kitchen twine and place the bird into the oven and roast for 30 minutes at 450 degrees F.
- After 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue to cook for about 2 more hours, basting turkey with drippings from the bottom and rotating the pan every 30-45 minutes.
- After 2.5 hours of cooking time, use a meat thermometer and check the thickest part of the turkey so make sure the internal temperature is 175 degrees. The turkey should be golden brown at this point. If the turkey is not done, continue to cook it until the thermometer registers at 175 degrees F.
- If the turkey is done but isn’t quite golden brown yet, crank the heat up to 450 degrees and blast it for 15 minutes to crisp up the skin.
For the Homemade Gravy
- Pour the turkey drippings into a large measuring cup and let it rest until the fat comes to the top.
- Spoon off almost all of the fat and set it aside.
- Add enough stock to the measuring cup to equal 4 cups of stock/drippings combined.
- Place the roasted pan you roasted the turkey in over the stove on medium high heat. Add the butter to the roasting pan and scrape up any brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the flour to the pan and whisk everything together until you form a roux. Continue to whisk until the roux is a dark brown color and fragrant.
- Add the stock/dripping mixture to the roux and whisk to combine.
- Turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil while still stirring. Once the liquid reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium and stir occasionally until the gravy is as thick as you’d like it.
- Once the gravy is thick, serve it immediately or keep it over very low heat until you are ready to serve. If the gravy develops a thin film on the top, just give it a quick whisk. Adjust salt and pepper if needed, but be sure to taste first as the drippings can be salty and you might not need any access salt.
Photo by: Matt Armendariz
We’re a week into the What’s Gaby Cooking Thanksgiving menu this year it’s time for the main attraction… an Herb Roasted Turkey that you’ll make annually from here on out.
There’s a ton of planning to do before the big day and while you might think I’m a bit nuts, I’ve been working away to create the most epic Thanksgiving spread for you the past few months. Whoever thinks being a food blogger is glamorous should have seen what it looks like to recipe test a 16 pound Herb Roasted Turkey in August. It wasn’t pretty. But it’s all worth it now because the whole thing is coming to WGC! A perfectly cooked turkey, the best mashed potatoes to even grace your table, a stuffing to end all stuffings, side dishes that you’ll want to devour, and a fun dessert that no one will be expecting! I’ve taken all the guess work out of Thanksgiving this year so whether you’re hosting the entire thing yourself, or if you just need a side dish or dessert to bring over to someones house… you’re covered! Nothing is super complicated or time consuming – just 100% delicious!
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