Approximately 4 hours
- 1 (12-pound) turkey, giblets removed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Rinse the turkey thoroughly under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, and lemon zest. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. This flavorful herb butter will be the key to creating a mouthwatering crust.
- Carefully lift the turkey’s skin and spread the herb butter mixture evenly underneath, ensuring that every inch is generously coated. This will infuse the turkey with an aromatic blend of herbs while keeping the meat moist.
- Season the outside of the turkey liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper, ensuring every part is covered.
- Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast-side up. Tucking the wings underneath the turkey will help to prevent them from burning or drying out.
- Roast the turkey in the preheated oven, allowing approximately 13 minutes per pound. Baste the turkey with its own juices every 30 minutes, ensuring a moist and flavorful result.
- To achieve the perfect crispy skin, increase the oven temperature to 425°F (220°C) during the final 30 minutes of roasting. This will give the turkey an enticing golden hue and an irresistible crunch.
- To determine whether the turkey is fully cooked, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 165°F (74°C) when cooked to perfection.
Tips and Variations:
- For a gluten-free option, ensure that all ingredients, including the butter, are certified gluten-free.
- Take advantage of seasonal herbs and experiment with variations. Consider using fresh oregano, marjoram, or even a touch of crushed red pepper flakes to give your herb-roasted turkey a unique twist.
- For a leaner alternative, you can substitute olive oil for butter in the herb mixture.
The flavors of the herb-roasted turkey will transport you to the heart of autumn, where warmth and abundance reign. The tantalizing aroma will fill your home and beckon loved ones to gather around the table. As the first bite dissolves on your tongue, you’ll experience the perfect harmony of tender, juicy meat and a gloriously crispy exterior. So, give your taste buds the treat they deserve and embark on this culinary journey of excellence. May this legendary dish bring you joy, laughter, and unforgettable memories as you relish every morsel with the ones you hold dear. Cheers to the majesty of Herb-Roasted Turkey!