Recipe by HokiesMom
I found this a few years back and used it as my Thanksgiving turkey main course two years ago. It provided a moist and flavor filled turkey that was quite simple to prepare. Based on most estimates you should allow almost a full pound of turkey per guest at your table (this allows for the weight of the bones and the meat). This is based on a 12 pound turkey which would serve 10-12 guests. The only change I made when I made this recipe was to roast the turkey breast side DOWN to keep the breast meat moist and I don't think I'll ever roast one breast side UP again. You roast the bird with the method you prefer. Preparation time includes the 30 minutes needed after roasting to let the turkey rest prior to carving.
- 1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary (if using fresh the equivalent is 3 tbs chopped fine)
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme (if using fresh the equivalent is 3 tbs chopped fine)
- 2 teaspoons dried sage (if using fresh the equivalent is 1 tbs chopped fine)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
- 12 lbs turkey (thawed if using a frozen bird)
- 1⁄2 lemon, cut in half
- 1⁄4 small onion
Directions See How It's Made
- Set a rack in the lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325°F
- Combine oil butter, garlic, chopped herbs and 1 tsp each of salt and pepper.
- Remove neck and giblets from turkey and discard (or use to make a turkey stock). Rinse turkey in COLD water; pat dry.
- Rub oil herb mixture over turkey and under the skin. Sprinkle more salt and pepper inside the bird. Place whole halved lemon and onion with the sprig of rosemary inside the bird cavity. Tuck wings under and tie legs with kitchen twine.
- Place turkey, breast side down or up (based on your personal preference) on a rack in a roasting pan. Cover loosely with foil (make a tent).
- Roast for 3 hours. Remove foil (and if roasting breast side down, flip bird over so it is breast side up now) and continue to roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting every 15 minutes. Turkey is fully cooked when thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 170°F.
- Place turkey on a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest 30 minutes prior to carving (this is important!).