Turkey Recipes

Herb Roasted Turkey

Turkey skin acts as a sort of rain slicker: outside flavors have a tough time penetrating it. So for this recipe, combine herbs with softened butter and lemon zest and smear them directly onto the meat, after working the skin loose by hand. The herb butter not only subtly flavors the meat, but it also really enhances the pan drippings we use to make a delicious gravy.

Herb-roasted Turkey

  • 15- to 20-pound turkey
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 6 to 8 chopped fresh sage leaves (or 2 to 3 teaspoons dried crumbled sage)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken broth
  1. Position the rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 325º. Remove the turkey neck, heart, and gizzard and discard or reserve for another use. Rinse the bird well inside and out and pat dry, then salt the cavity.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, blend the butter, herbs, mustard, lemon zest, and pepper. Starting at the tail end, gently slide your hand under the skin of the turkey breast to loosen it. Using your fingers, smear a generous tablespoon of the butter mixture on each half of the breast. Smear half of the remaining herb butter on the exposed flesh near the neck. Then smear the remaining herb butter over the skin of the breast. (If you are not stuffing the bird, pull up the excess skin at the neck to seal, and secure it to the body of the bird with a small skewer or toothpicks.)
  3. Loosely fill the neck cavity with stuffing. Pull up the excess skin at the neck to seal, and secure it to the body with a small skewer or toothpicks. Loosely fill the main cavity with stuffing. Tie together the legs with kitchen twine, or secure them with the plastic leg clamps if the bird came with them. Tuck the wing tips under the bird so they don’t scorch.
  4. Place the turkey directly in a large roasting pan or on a rack inside the roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour without opening the oven. After 1 hour, add 1 cup of chicken broth to the pan. Rotate the pan 180º. Continue to roast until the meat registers 180º, measured at the thickest part of the inside thigh; do not let the thermometer touch bone. At the center of the cavity, the stuffing should register 165º. Add more broth to the pan, if necessary, to keep the pan juices from burning. Total cooking time for a stuffed turkey should be 4 1/4 to 5 hours (for an unstuffed bird, subtract 30 minutes). Transfer the turkey to a large platter. Cover and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Pour the pan juices into a 2-cup measure and set aside for the gravy. Makes 10 servings.


The hint of orange gives this recipe a festive tang; for a milder flavor, you can garnish the turkey with the orange slices instead of roasting them under the turkey skin.

  • 1 14 to 16 lb. turkey, fresh or defrosted
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 large orange, thinly sliced
  • Apple and Sausage Stuffing (see our recipe under stuffings)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Rinse the turkey with cold water and blot it dry with a paper towel, including the cavity. Place the neck, giblets, carrots, celery and onion in a large roasting pan, and arrange the turkey on top, breast-side up.
  2. Lift the skin up over the turkey breast, being careful not to tear it. Gently slide the orange slices under the skin. Loosely pack the stuffing in the neck cavity and inside the body. Fold the wings back and under the body of the turkey. Fold the neck skin under to enclose the stuffing and tie the legs together with butcher’s twine.
  3. Combine the butter, marmalade and juice, and liberally brush on the turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the broth into the roasting pan. Roast for 3 3/4 to 4 1/2 hours, basting frequently and tenting the turkey with aluminum foil 2/3 of the way through the cooking process. Test for doneness with a meat thermometer–the temperature in the thickest part of the turkey leg and thigh should be 180 degrees; in the thickest part of the turkey breast, 170 degrees; and in the stuffing, 160 degrees. Remove the stuffing and let the bird sit for 10 minutes before carving. Yields 10 to 12 servings.



A great Thanksgiving bird or just your Thursday night dinner.

  • One 10-pound turkey
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut
  • Olive oil for turkey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil for stuffing
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3/4 lb. pork sausage
  • 2/3 cup long grain rice
  • 4 cups dried herb or corn bread, toasted and cubed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 6 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Pepper
  1. Rinse and dry the turkey. Season inside and out with salt and pepper; rub skin with the cut lemon and squeeze juice over the bird. Set aside while preparing stuffing.
  2. To make the stuffing, heat olive oil in a saucepan and saute onion until soft. Add ground sausage and stir in until it is crumbly and no pink is visible. Add rice and 1-3/4 cup water, cook over moderate heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. In a bowl, use water to moisten the bread cubes, raisins, parsley, pine nuts, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix gently with rice mixture. Spoon mixture into cavity of bird and under skin at neck. Remaining stuffing may be cooked separately in a casserole, placed on a low oven rack 45 minutes to one hour before turkey is done.
  3. Place turkey, breast side up, in pan, brush with olive oil and cover with cheesecloth soaked in olive oil. Wings and legs should be foil wrapped. After 3 hours, remove cheesecloth and for remaining time in oven, baste bird with pan drippings. Total roasting time in a 350-degree oven should be 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Makes 8 servings.

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