The Best Roasted Turkey
- 12-15 lb turkey
- Salt & Pepper for the inside and outside of the bird
For the Flavored Butter:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (not extra virgin), plus more to drizzle top
- 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon), plus ½ Tbsp lemon zest
- 3 large garlic cloves, pressed
- ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
- ½ Tbsp salt (I used sea salt)
- ½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
For the Stuffing:
- 1 large onion, quartered (no peeling)
- 4 garlic cloves, halved (no peeling)
- ½ bunch parsley
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Season inside of turkey cavity generously with about 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.
- In a medium bowl, combine: 2 sticks softened butter, 2 Tbsp olive oil, ½ Tbsp lemon zest, 4 Tbsp lemon juice, 3 pressed garlic cloves, ¼ cup chopped parsley, ½ Tbsp salt, ½ tsp pepper. Mash /stir with a fork until well combined.
- Separate the skin from the turkey breast by pushing your fingers under the skin. Do this from the front and the back of the turkey; being careful not to tear the skin.
- Stuff ⅔ of the butter mixture under skin then spread the butter around by massaging over the top of the skin. This butter keeps the turkey breast tender, juicy and provides rich flavor.
- Rub remaining butter over the outside of the turkey (breast, legs, wings). Drizzle all over the top of the turkey with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper.
- Stuff turkey with quartered onion, 4 halved garlic cloves, ½ bunch parsley and quartered lemon. Tie turkey base and legs together; crossing the legs to better close up the turkey cavity.
Pre-heat the oven to 430˚F for the turkey
- Here is a fantastic tip: to protect the turkey breast and keep it juicy: Fold a large square sheet of foil into a triangle. Rub one side of your triangle with olive oil and shape the foil (oil-side-down) over the turkey breast, then remove foil; it will shield your turkey breast and keep it from getting dry. You’ll apply this shield later in the roasting process.
- Place a meat thermometer into the bird; beneath the drum stick; deep into the dark meat. Start roasting at 430˚F for 20 min.
- Remove from oven; quickly baste with butter from the bottom of the dish. You can use a baster or tilt one side of the pan and collect drippings with a large spoon. Now apply prepared foil triangle to turkey breast area.
- Reduce oven to 350˚F and bake for another 2 hours 30 min for a 12 lb bird. (Once you have reduced the oven to 350˚F, you will bake about 13 min for every pound of turkey). The turkey thigh should register at 170˚F on the temperature probe and the breast at 160˚F to make sure it’s fully cooked through then remove from the oven (keep in mind the turkey temp continues to rise slightly after it’s out of the oven).
- Transfer turkey to serving platter and cover loosely but fully with foil. Let turkey rest for at least a half hour then start carving. Enjoy!
printable version: The Best Roasted Turkey