Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without a turkey, but as I’m sure you know, roasting them can be daunting. Many recipes spell success by loading on the butter, covering the turkey with an entire stick, or two! We use only 2 tablespoons of butter, and to make sure the bird is crispy, we baste the pan drippings onto the skin during cooking. If you have an eye on the clock and a meat thermometer, you don’t need a ton of butter to keep a turkey moist. The real secret is to simply not overcook it!
Recipe type: Holiday Favorites
Makes: 12 Dinner Portions
- 1 (12-pound) young turkey, thawed
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a rack into a roasting pan.
- Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey cavity (if included), and discard (or save) to add flavor to the Turkey Gravy (on the next page). Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to the roasting pan.
- Place the butter, lemon juice, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and paprika in a food processor or blender, and pulse only a few times, just until combined.
- Use your hands to rub the butter mixture over the entire surface of the bird.
- Bake for 2 ½–3 hours, basting every 45 minutes with juices from the roasting pan. Turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165°F.
- Transfer to a carving board, and let rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
Serving size: 3-100 calorie portions of the meat of your choice Calories: 300