This herbed butter turkey recipe produces the much beloved, classic herb flavor so many expect from a roasted turkey dinner. The secret ingredient is an apple hidden away inside the turkey to release flavorful moisture as the bird cooks. The resultant taste isn't overly sweet; only a hint of the apple's aroma remains and combines beautifully with the dominant herb flavors.
Cook's note: This recipe uses a rapid roasting method for an evenly browned bird and moist meat; Adjust your cooking times accordingly.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes
- 1 13-14 lb turkey, rinsed and patted dry
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 apple, cored and quartered
How to make herbed butter turkey:
Preheat an oven to 425F. Place the turkey, breast side up in the center of a roasting pan. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the pepper, thyme, sage, and butter. Loosen the skin over the turkey breast, and gently spread the herbed butter under the skin. Rub the turkey with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the apple pieces in the cavity. Roast the turkey uncovered for 20 minutes. Flip the turkey over and continue roasting it, uncovered for 20 minutes.
Loosely tent foil over the bird, crimping the ends firmly to the edges of the pan. Roast the turkey for an additional 2 1/4 hours, basting it with the pan drippings every 30 minutes. The turkey is done when a digital thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 170F.
Remove the turkey from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before removing and discarding the apple and carving the meat.
This herbed butter turkey recipe makes 14 to 16 servings.
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