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Butter and Herb Roasted Turkey

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Butter and Herb Roasted Turkey

Active Time: 30 minutes   |   Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes   |   Serves 8

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (about 12 sprigs)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves (about 10 leaves)
  • 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 14 to 16-pound whole turkey
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 to 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as pinto grigio

Heat the oven (with the oven rack in the lowest position) to 350°F.

Cut the carrot and celery into 1-inch pieces and quarter the onion. Put them into a large roasting pan and place a turkey roasting rack on top.

In a small bowl, stir together the butter, thyme, sage, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt.

Rinse out the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the innards. Tuck the wings: grab the right wing, lift up the right side of the turkey, and tuck the wing tip under the turkey; repeat with the left wing. Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together. Place the turkey on the roasting rack.

From the neck end of the turkey, use your fingers to loosen the skin from breasts and stuff in the herb butter. Drizzle the turkey with the oil and rub to coat. Season the entire turkey with the pepper and the remaining 1½ teaspoons salt. Pierce the lemon several times with the tip of a paring knife and put into the cavity of the turkey.

Roast for 1 hour then add 2 cups of the chicken broth to the pan. Continue to roast until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F, 2½ to 3 hours more (3½ to 4 hours total). Lift the turkey onto a cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.

While the turkey is resting, make the gravy. Transfer the vegetables to a blender. Strain the pan juices into a large measuring cup or fat separator and skim off the fat. Pour the pan juices into the blender. Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat and add the wine. Scrape up the brown bits form the bottom of the pan, then pour into the blender. Puree until smooth. Return the puree to a saucepan and add enough of the remaining broth to make a gravy consistency. Reheat before serving.

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