Monday, April 5, 2010

Herb-Roasted Turkey

We happened to have a turkey sitting in our freezer (a work Christmas gift) but hadn't used it yet...14 pounds of turkey is a lot for two people!  Plus, I had never cooked a turkey was kind of daunting.  We had a big family get together for Easter Sunday, so I volunteered to cook and bring the turkey.  Now I had to cook it..and had to make it good!
I found this recipe at the Taste of Home website and decided to give it a try.  I wanted something "Spring-y" with lots of herbs.  It was fabulous.  I got raving reviews from all who tried it.  The juice that was produced afterwards made a great soup at the bottom of the pan (my husband and mother-in-law couldn't stop eating it) and I will be using the leftover "soup" and turkey to make soup soon!  It is super simple and doesn't take much time (a necessity because I thawed the turkey for only 60 hours before cooking it!).

1 turkey (14 pounds)

1 TBSP salt
1 tsp pepper
18 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
4 medium onions, sliced
4 celery ribs, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
3 bay leaves
1 TBSP peppercorns
1/2 C butter, melted
1 tsp minced fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tsp minced chives

Preheat oven to 325.
Rub the surface of the turkey with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle some in the cavity.
Put 12 sprigs of the thyme in the cavity.
Place the onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, and six thyme sprigs in the bottom of the roasting pan.
Place the turkey (breast side up) in the pan.
Drizzle it with the melted butter.
Sprinkle the turkey with the remaining herbs.
Cover loosely with foil.
Bake for 2 1/2 hours.
Remove foil.
Bake for 1 1/2-2 more hours (until the timer "pops" on the turkey).
Baste every 20 minutes with juice in the bottom of the pan.
Let it sit for 20 minutes before carving.

This turkey is so moist and full of flavor.  Dip the turkey in the juices on the bottom of the pan for added flavor and "wonderfulness"!

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