Tired of bland, dry, boring turkey? Your family deserves the best this Thanksgiving and nothing is better than this Best Thanksgiving Turkey recipe courtesy of our friends at Cooking Professionally. This savory, buttery, slow-cooked Thanksgiving bird will have your family begging for seconds, maybe even thirds!
For the turkey:
• 1 (12-20 pound) turkey
• salt, to taste
• pepper, to taste
• 1 onion, peeled and quartered
• 1 lemon, quartered
• 1 apple, quartered
• 1 (.75-ounce) container rosemary
• 1 (.75-ounce) container thyme
• 1 (.75-ounce) container sage
For the herb butter:
• 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 6 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
• 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
• 1/2 tablespoon sage, chopped
Let the turkey warm to room temperature for about an hour.
Adjust the oven racks so the turkey can sit comfortably in the center and preheat to 325 degrees F.
Prepare the herb butter by combining the softened butter with the minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1 tablespoon thyme, and 1/2 tablespoon sage.
Remove the neck and giblets from the inside of the turkey, reserving them for gravy or discarding them if you desire.
Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
Season the inside of the turkey with salt and pepper (to taste).
Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the lemons, onions, and apples, as well as the rosemary, thyme, and sage.
Using your fingers, loosen and lift the skin of the turkey above the breasts. Smear a few tablespoons of the herb butter underneath the skin.
Tuck the wings of the turkey underneath the bird.
Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan.
Using the microwave, or in a low pan over the stove-top, heat the remaining herb butter until it is melted or almost melted.
Brush the melted herb butter over the outside of the turkey, including the wings and legs.
Put the turkey in the oven and roast for 13-15 minutes per pound. The internal temperature at the thickest part of the meat should read 165 degrees F. About halfway through its cooking time, cover the top of the turkey with tin foil. This protects the breast meat from overcooking and becoming dry.
Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the oven.
Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes before carving, to ensure optimal juiciness.
Carve and serve!