Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Herb-Rubbed Turkey

I made this herb-rubbed turkey for my first thanksgiving last year and it got great reviews. I am for sure making it this year and I suggest giving the herb-rub a try. It was very moist and more flavorful I think than your average bird.


  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves
  • 22 medium garlic cloves (about 3 heads)
  • 1 (10- to 12-pound) turkey, preferably organic or free-range
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
(I double this recipe because I use a 21-24 pound bird)


One day ahead:
Process herbs and garlic in food processor until finely minced. Set aside.

Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Trim excess fat. Place turkey in large nonreactive bowl. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by gently inserting fingers between skin and meat. Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper under and over skin.
Then spread some of the garlic-herb rub under skin and gently press skin to adhere. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck into turkey. Then rub remaining garlic-herb rub over the turkey skin. (I also coat the skin with butter or more olive oil). Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

To Roast:
Let turkey stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting. Set oven rack at the lowest position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. I use Reynolds Oven-Roast Turkey Bags. Add 1 tablespoon flour to the bag and shake, this stops your bag from bursting. Place your turkey in the bag breast side up. Butter the top of the turkey and season. Use the ties that come with the bag and close the bag. Make about 6 slits in the bag about 1/2 inch long, this helps to let the excessive steam out.
Put your turkey in the bag in a pan a little larger than your turkey, and with 2 inch sides . Put your pan in the oven making sure that the bag does not touch any part of your oven, racks or broiler element. I occasionally bast my turkey so I make sure on of the slits in the bag in low enough where a can grab some juices. Cooking time per weight(un-stuffed): 12-16 lb., 2 to 2 1/2 hours; 16-20 lbs., 2 1/2 to 3 hours, 20-24 lbs., 3 to 3 1/2 hours. It will take 1/2 hour longer if you stuff the bird. The bird is done when a meat thermometer reaches 170 degrees inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and juices run clear.. When the bird is done, I remove the bag and place on a serving plater (Let the turkey rest 20 minutes before carving). I then release all the juices from in the bag into my pan to make my gravy.

Recipe modified from Epicurious.

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