Whole Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter

Here for you is the recipe we use to prepare our own family's Thanksgiving Day turkey. Super easy to make, it is loaded with sumptuous flavor, and smells as delicious as it tastes. 

When it comes time to pop it in the oven, place the entire bird on top a colorful layer of sturdy root vegetables and Brussels sprouts, in lieu of a resting rack. This allows for heat to circulate all around the bird, and also makes for the most succulent and savory veggies you’ve ever tasted.

Yield: 10-12 , Prep time: 25 minutes , Cook time: 3-4 hours



Basting Liquid
1. In a small sauce pot, stir together the apple cider vinegar, apple butter, 1 tsp. salt, and sage; bring to a boil on the stovetop.
2. Once you can start to smell the flavors, adjust the heat to medium-low and let simmer.

Compound Butter
1. Finely chop together the rosemary and thyme.
2. With your hands, work the fresh herbs into the softened butter.

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
2. Remove the gizzards and neck from the turkey (typically in a bag in the cavity of the bird) and, with your hands, separate the skin from the meat all over the bird.
3. Take small palm-sized balls of butter and rub them under the skin of the turkey, making sure to reach even the wings and the thighs so that every single bite of bird is full of flavor in the end. Place another palm-sized ball of butter into the inner cavity and rub any additional butter on top of the bird. Now, season the outside of the entire bird with salt and pepper.
4. Layer the beets, potatoes, onions, and Brussels sprouts in the bottom of a roasting pan and place the prepared turkey right on top of them. Spoon 1/3 of the basting liquid on top of the bird.
5. Cook the turkey for 3 – 3 1/2 hours. Brush on another 1/3 of the basting liquid an hour and a half into cooking, and the final 1/3 of the basting liquid 10 minutes before you remove from the oven. When the color of the skin is as brown as you’d like it to be, cover the whole bird with foil for the remainder of the roasting. This will keep the turkey from looking burnt from all the caramelized apple butter.
6. Remove the entire roasting pan when a thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of a breast reads 160 degrees. Let the turkey sit for no less than 15 minutes – and up to 30 – before carving and serving.

Tips + Tricks

**Begin thawing your turkey in the refrigerator three days in advance of roasting it – or, one day per 5 lbs. of turkey.
**For checking the internal temperature of the turkey, DO NOT rely on the pre-inserted thermometers often included in the turkeys when you purchase them. Always use a separate thermometer to test the temperature in the meatiest part of the bird. Pull the turkey from the oven when the temperature reaches 160 degrees to allow carry-over cooking to take it to the recommended 165 degrees.