Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Turkey

Garlic_Herb_butter_Turkey

Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Turkey

The ultimate Thanksgiving centerpiece, this garlic herb butter roasted turkey will be the highlight of your meal.  Crispy skin, tender, moist turkey breast perfectly seasoned with fresh garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage and smoked paprika. 

No more boring, bland turkey! By infusing it with flavor from the inside out, you are creating a perfect roasted turkey the whole family will love. 

 

 

 

Thawing a Turkey

Step 1 is to thaw the turkey. Plan ahead – the best way to thaw a frozen turkey is in the refrigerator.  Depending on the size of the frozen turkey you purchased, it can take up to a week to thaw it properly. 

If you don’t have the refrigerator space, then you can also thaw a turkey in cold water in the sink.  While quicker – this method requires that the water is refreshed every 30 minutes or so, to ensure the turkey stays cold and thaws evenly. 

 

Tips for thawing a turkey

Leave the turkey in the original packaging to thaw – for both refrigerator and cold water thawing.  Place it on a rimmed baking sheet in the refrigerator to collect any juices that might seep out. 

  • Thaw time in the fridge requires about 24 hours for every 5 pounds in a refrigerator set at about 40 degrees F (5 degrees C).
  • Thaw time in cold water requires about 30 minutes per pound in cold water, refreshed every 30 minutes.

Once the turkey is thawed, you’ll need to remove all the giblets from the inside cavity of the turkey.  The Honeysuckle turkeys available at Safeway have a pouch on the bottom of the turkey with the liver and organs that need to be removed as well as the neck, which is located inside the turkey cavity.

Be sure to remove both before prepping and cooking the turkey.

Prepping Turkey

I like to prep my turkey the day before Thanksgiving.  I season, stuff, and get it in the pan, ready for roasting the night before, so that I have one less thing to prep on Thanksgiving. 

Prepping a turkey takes time and is messy!  It requires that you sanitize all surfaces when you are done prepping, so by doing it the night before, you ensure your turkey is properly thawed and ready to go into the oven on Thanksgiving Day. 

To achieve a flavorful and juicy turkey, you need to work from the inside out. 

By using fresh aromatics like celery, carrots, onion, lemon, and fresh herbs on the inside of the bird, you infuse flavor into the meat while it’s cooking.

Keep the breast meat moist by coating it with a garlic herb butter blend that melts into the turkey while it’s roasting.

Get a crispy skin every time by brushing the turkey with butter and coating it with aromatic spices and herbs before roasting.  

Once you put the turkey in the oven, don’t touch the oven.  Keep the door closed so that the turkey roasts evenly.  You also don’t need to baste the turkey.  Basting actually gives you leathery skin rather than crispy skin. 

aromatics_For_cooking a Turkey

Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Turkey Recipe

Ingredients

  • turkey, thawed and giblets removed
  • softened butter (salted or unsalted)
  • fresh herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • smoked paprika
  • celery
  • onion
  • carrots
  • lemon
  • twine

garlic_Herb_butter_Turkey

How to Make Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Turkey 

Thaw the turkey and remove the giblets and neck from the cavity and underside of the turkey – you are looking for 2 things to remove from 2 cavities.  

Mince the thyme, sage and rosemary,  Mince the garlic cloves. 

Mix the fresh sage, thyme, rosemary and minced garlic with 1 stick of softened butter.  Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika to the softened butter and mix until combined. 

Transfer the turkey to the roasting pan and tuck the wings under the turkey. 

Gently separate the skin from the turkey breast with your fingers and place half of the softened garlic herb butter under the skin as far as you can, coating with an even layer.

Stuff the turkey cavity with a mixture of celery, onion, lemon half, carrots, and fresh additional fresh herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme). 

Tie the turkey legs together with the kitchen twine for even cooking. 

Pat the turkey dry with paper towels so you have a dry surface with which to work. 

Next, melt the remaining compound butter mixture and brush the melted butter over the top of the turkey.

Place the stuffed and seasoned turkey into the oven.  Place remaining celery, onion, and carrots in the roasting pan.  Add 1 cup of water to the roasting pan. 

If prepping the turkey the night before – then wrap the turkey with foil and place it into the refrigerator overnight. 

If you are roasting the turkey – place it into a 350° preheated oven.

Cook the turkey for approximately 2.5 – 3.5 hours, depending on the size of the turkey. 

Do not open the oven to check the turkey and do not baste the turkey.  You can check the turkey at 2 hours to check the temperature. 

Check the internal temperature of the turkey by placing the thermometer in the thickest part of the breast.  It should register at 165° for a done turkey. 

Remove from the oven once the turkey is cooked and let it rest.  Don’t touch it while it’s resting. 

Resting the turkey ensures that the juices become redistributed into the meat, allowing for a juicy turkey.   Rest for at least 30 minutes before carving the turkey. 

butter_Garlic_herb_Turkey

How Long to Cook a Turkey

The time involved in cooking a turkey depends on the size of the turkey.  Smaller turkeys obviously take less time.  You should plan to have your oven reserved for at least 2-4 hours depending on the size of your turkey. 

Internal Temperature of Turkey

The internal temperature should reach:

  • 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F in the breast 
  • 175 degrees F to 180 degrees F in the thigh

Approximate Turkey Cooking Times from USDA at 350° F.

 WeightUnstuffed TimingStuffed Timing
 8 to 12 pounds2 3/4 to 3 hours3 to 3 1/2 hours
 12 to 14 pounds3 to 3 3/4 hours3 1/2 to 4 hours
Whole Turkey14 to 18 pounds3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours4 to 4 1/4 hours
 18 to 20 pounds4 1/4 hours to 4 1/2 hours4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
 20 to 24 pounds4 1/2 to 5 hours4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours

 

Garlic_Herb_Roasted_Turkey_Recipe

 

Garlic_Herb_Roasted_Turkey_Recipe

Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Turkey

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Garlic Herb Butter Turkey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

  • 12 - 25 lb. whole turkey thawed and giblets removed
  • 1 stick softened butter salted or unsalted
  • fresh herbs like sage thyme, and rosemary
  • 8-10 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 celery ribs chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 onion halved
  • 3 carrots chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • twine for tying turkey legs

Instructions

  • Thaw the turkey and remove the giblets and neck from the cavity and underside of the turkey - you are looking for 2 things to remove from 2 cavities.
  • Mince the thyme, sage and rosemary,  Mince the garlic cloves.
  • Mix the fresh sage, thyme, rosemary and minced garlic with 1 stick of softened butter.  Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika to the softened butter and mix until combined.
  • Transfer the turkey to the roasting pan and tuck the wings under the turkey.
  • Gently separate the skin from the turkey breast with your fingers and place half of the softened garlic herb butter under the skin as far as you can, coating with an even layer.
  • Stuff the turkey cavity with a mixture of celery, onion, lemon half, carrots, and fresh additional fresh herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme).
  • Tie the turkey legs together with the kitchen twine for even cooking.
  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towels so you have a dry surface with which to work.
  • Next, melt the remaining compound butter mixture and brush the melted butter over the top of the turkey.
  • Place the stuffed and seasoned turkey into the oven.  Place remaining celery, onion, and carrots in the roasting pan.  Add 1 cup of water to the roasting pan.
  • If prepping the turkey the night before – then wrap the turkey with foil and place it into the refrigerator overnight.
  • If you are roasting the turkey – place it into a 350° preheated oven.
  • Cook the turkey for approximately 2.5 – 3.5 hours, depending on the size of the turkey.
  • Do not open the oven to check the turkey and do not baste the turkey.  You can check the turkey at 2 hours to check the temperature.
  • Check the internal temperature of the turkey by placing the thermometer in the thickest part of the breast.  It should register at 165° for a done turkey.
  • Remove from the oven once the turkey is cooked and let it rest.  Don’t touch it while it’s resting.
  • Resting the turkey ensures that the juices become redistributed into the meat, allowing for a juicy turkey.   Rest for at least 30 minutes before carving the turkey.

 

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