Herb Roasted Turkey
Herb Roasted Turkey – Tired of having a dry bird? This recipe is the ONLY way I make my Thanksgiving turkey! Produces a moist & flavorful bird each & every time!
We’ve already covered brining your turkey & injecting it with a Cajun butter marinade. Now, we’re talking roasting turkey today! No one wants a dry turkey, & I’m here to help you make sure that doesn’t happen!
This is my absolutely my all-time favorite way of roasting a turkey – it never fails to produce a moist, flavorful, & indulgent turkey. I like to brine my bird first as well as inject it – I think it really makes a difference. But, if that’s not your cup of tea, you definitely don’t have to that… or you could just do one of the two.
Just make sure you remove those giblets from the inside of the cavity – you don’t wanna be like me when I cooked my very first Thanksgiving turkey and leave them in there. Yeah, that was embarrassing.
Now, let’s roast that bird!
First, we start off with my herb butter. I previously published my herb butter recipe a couple years ago & I rub this on all of my roasted turkeys as well as a lot of my roasted chickens. (Plus, it’s really good on bread too!). It’s the best. You simply combine 2 sticks of softened butter with chopped parsley, minced garlic, seasoning salt, onion powder, & black pepper. If there are any other spices you like, you can definitely add those as well – play with it all you want! 🙂
Using your hand or a spatula, pull the skin from the breast away from the meat. That’s where you want some of that yummy herb butter to go. You can see that I injected by bird with my homemade Cajun garlic butter marinade before I did this.
Rub the herb butter all under the skin of the breasts.
Then rub the rest of the herb butter all over the turkey’s skin & inside the cavity as well.
Stuff the inside with a few stalks of celery cut in half & 2 medium onions, quartered. You could throw a couple carrots in there too if you want.
Tie the legs together with a piece of cooking twine – or use the slit in the skin (like the Butterball turkeys have) to put your legs back in.
Sprinkle the outside with the seasoning of your choice – and for me, that’s Cajun seasoning.
Place your meat thermometer in the thigh of the bird.
Do this while it’s raw, and totally ignore that I forgot to take a picture of that til after my bird was done.. Oops.
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Yes, I know that sounds low – but trust me on this! Slow roasting on a lower temperature is the way to go! Roast the turkey in a roasting pan (on a roasting rack). Take a piece of foil, fold it in half slightly, and rest it over the breast area of the turkey. Like so.
The rule of thumb is to roast the turkey on this temp for 10 minutes per pound… So for a 20 pound turkey, you’re looking at about 3.5 hours; a 15 pound bird would roast for about 2.5 hours – and so on. Note: there is still a little more cooking time after this on a higher temperature – you’re not done yet!
Remove the turkey from the oven.. or just pull out the rack (I’m always scared my rack might break from the weight of my tremendous bird!). Baste the heck out of it with the pan juices. Turn the heat up to 350 degrees. Remove the aluminum foil from the turkey, and pop it back into the oven. Continue roasting the turkey, basting with pan juices every 20 minutes until the thermometer reaches 165 degrees.
Remove the turkey from the oven, and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes before carving. This is VERY important! I actually let mine rest for up to an hour. If you carve it too early, all that wonderful juiciness will drain right out of it – leaving you with a dry turkey – and no one wants that!
Once you carve it, you will be rewarded for your efforts with a moist & delicious turkey! I mean, just look. No dry turkey here!
Herb Roasted Turkey
- 1 whole turkey
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 heaping ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp seasoning salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Cajun seasoning to taste (or your other favorite seasoning blend)
- 2 medium onions, quartered
- 2 stalks celery – cut in half
- Rinse your turkey, and pat dry inside & out. If you want to brine your bird and/or inject it, go ahead and do those steps first.
- Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.
- Combine the softened butter, chopped parsley, minced garlic, seasoning salt, onion powder, & black pepper in a small bowl. (I like using my hands for this!). Place a spatula or your hand in between the skin on the breast & the meat. Coat under the skin with the herb butter. Using your hands, spread the rest of the herb butter on top of the turkey’s skin & inside the cavity as well. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning (or seasoning of your choice)
- Tie the turkey legs together with cooking twine – or use the extra skin to hold the legs together (like in the pictures in the post). Stuff the inside of the cavity with the onion quarters & celery halves. Tent a piece of tinfoil on top of the breasts area. Roast the turkey in a roasting pan on a roasting rack.
- Cook at 275 for about 10 minutes per pound. A 20 pound bird would need about 3.5 hours while a 15 pound bird would need about 2.5 hours. After that time, baste the bird really well with the pan juices. Bump the heat up to 350, remove the foil, and return the turkey to the oven until the meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees – basting every 20 minutes.
- Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. I let mine rest for 45-60 minutes myself.