Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe: A Feast to Remember

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, family gatherings, and a sumptuous feast, with a perfectly roasted turkey taking center stage. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a novice in the kitchen, this Thanksgiving turkey recipe will guide you through the steps to prepare a mouthwatering, tender, and flavorful turkey that will leave your guests raving. Let’s get started!


– 1 whole turkey (12-14 pounds)

– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

– 1 tablespoon dried thyme

– 1 tablespoon dried rosemary

– 1 tablespoon dried sage

– 1 lemon, quartered

– 1 onion, quartered

– 4 garlic cloves, peeled

– 4-5 sprigs of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, and sage)

– 1 cup chicken or turkey broth


1. Thaw the Turkey:

   Ensure your turkey is completely thawed before cooking. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. Make sure it’s fully defrosted and at room temperature before cooking.

2. Preheat the Oven:

   Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C) and position the rack in the lower third of the oven.

3. Prepare the Herb Butter:

   In a bowl, combine the softened butter, olive oil, salt, black pepper, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and dried sage. Mix until well blended. This herb-infused butter will add amazing flavor to your turkey.

4. Prepare the Turkey:

   – Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey’s cavities.

   – Pat the turkey dry with paper towels both inside and out.

   – Season the inside of the turkey with salt and pepper.

5. Season the Turkey:

   – Gently separate the turkey’s skin from the breast and thigh meat by running your fingers under the skin.

   – Spread about 2/3 of the herb butter mixture under the skin, evenly distributing it.

   – Rub the remaining butter mixture all over the turkey’s skin, making sure to cover it thoroughly.

6. Stuff the Turkey:

   – Stuff the turkey cavity with lemon quarters, onion quarters, garlic cloves, and the fresh herb sprigs. This aromatic stuffing will infuse the turkey with fantastic flavors.

7. Truss the Turkey:

   – Use kitchen twine to tie the turkey’s legs together, securing the stuffing inside.

8. Roasting the Turkey:

   – Place the turkey in a roasting pan with a rack to lift it off the bottom.

   – Pour the chicken or turkey broth into the pan to keep the turkey moist during roasting.

   – Cover the turkey with aluminum foil.

9. Cooking Time:

   – Roast the turkey in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes per pound (so, approximately 3.5 to 4 hours for a 14-pound turkey).

   – Every 30-45 minutes, baste the turkey with the pan juices to keep it moist and flavorful.

   – Remove the foil during the last 45 minutes of cooking to allow the skin to brown and crisp.

10. Check Doneness:

    – The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh. Use a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy.

11. Rest and Carve:

    – Once the turkey is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.

    – Carve and serve your perfectly roasted Thanksgiving turkey with your favorite side dishes.

This Thanksgiving, elevate your feast with a beautifully roasted turkey that’s tender, flavorful, and a true crowd-pleaser. By following this step-by-step recipe, you can create a memorable and delicious centerpiece for your holiday celebration. Enjoy the warmth, love, and gratitude that Thanksgiving brings, and savor the delicious fruits of your labor!

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