Herb-Seasoned Turkey

"This is the moistest turkey I have ever made. The herbs tucked inside the bird and the herb-oil mixture give it a wonderful flavor. Allow 3/4 pound uncooked turkey per person. I like to tuck 3 whole sages leaves under the skin (loosen skin first with a large spoon or other fairly flat, dull tool). As the turkey cooks, the skin becomes transparent and the leaves will show through--and it adds to the flavor!"
photo by Amber Dawn photo by Amber Dawn
photo by Amber Dawn
photo by Sharlene~W photo by Sharlene~W
photo by Sharlene~W photo by Sharlene~W
photo by Sharlene~W photo by Sharlene~W
Ready In:
2hrs 50mins




  • Mince rosemary leaves, parsley, and thyme to make 1 tablespoon each; reserving remaining sprigs for use in step 3.
  • Combine olive oil, butter, minced herbs, salt and pepper; set aside.
  • Remove and discard leg truss from turkey. Pull off and discard lumps of fat. Remove giblets and neck; discard. Rinse bird inside and out; pat dry.
  • Tuck remaining fresh herb sprigs (see note above) and bay leaves inside body cavity.
  • Place turkey, breast up, on a v-shaped rack in a 12- by 17-inch roasting pan. Retruss turkey legs, if desired.
  • Brush entire bird with oil-herb mixture. Pour 1 cup of water in bottom of roasting pan (or enough to cover bottom). This water serves two purposes--steam rising from it will keep turkey moist, and it will keep drippings from sticking to bottom of pan (so you can make great gravy).
  • Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Insert a meat thermometer through thickest part of turkey breast to the bone. (I tear a small hole and poke it through foil).
  • Roast turkey in 325°F oven for 2 to 3 hours (depending on the size of your turkey. Cook until thickest part of turkey reaches 160°F taking foil off for the last 45 minutes.
  • (If wing and leg tips start to get too dark before turkey is done, cover them with small pieces of foil.
  • Transfer turkey to a platter.
  • Let rest 15 to 30 minutes, then carve.
  • Great tip for getting the fat off the top of drippings for gravy: Pour drippings into a heavy-duty zip-top bag (freezer bag works great). Set in a bowl or pan that will hold it upright and let it stand for 15 minutes so oil separates. Holding bag above your pan, snip a slit in very bottom corner of bag and let the juices run until you get to the oil. Pinch of end of bag and discard.

Questions & Replies

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  1. It had been a long time since I cooked the Thanksgiving turkey so I turned to the internet to get some ideas and found this recipe. I followed the directions and the turkey was delicious but the best part was the gravy made from the pan drippings. I don't care for giblet gravy so I just strained some of the pan drippings, added flour to thicken and it was perfect. By the way, pay attention to how long YOUR turkey needs to cook. I almost waited too late to start based on the recommendations from this recipe. My 19 pound turkey needed about 4 hours; thank goodness for my convection oven! Thanks Sharlene for sharing!
  2. The best turkey I've ever had! It turned out so moist. I couldn't have asked for a better turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner! Thank you for sharing!
  3. this sounds really good but it is not a crock pot recipe.
  4. I had the opportunity to do this turkey before Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful! I had a 12-pound turkey but kept the measurements of other ingredients the same and I was a little short on time so my oven temp was a little higher... Just wanted to comment on how delicious the herb combination was. How often do you see rosemary combined with turkey? It was a nice change from the usual sage, etc., plus I'm always a fan of bay leaves; the ones I used were fresh and were so delicious with the rest of the seasonings. Thanks so much Sharlene, I think I'm going to try this with a simple roast chicken or Cornish Hen as well.


I live in the San Francisco area and love it here. I discovered Recipezaar (then Food.com..Genius Kitchen) in 2001 and have been so happy to have my favorite recipes stored safely here. I am mother to 7 and grandmother to 7. I love to knit, smock, sew, etc., but my favorite hobby of the moment is traditional rug hooking. This is a sample of what I do.? It's called "November".? I dyed most of the wool myself. It is made from wool flannel, cut into strips a little less than 1/4" and then worked into a linen backing. This is my 3rd rug.
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