Main Dishes

Herbed Roast Turkey

Recipe courtesy of North American Olive Oil Association

Ingredients
  • 16 to 18 lb. turkey, thawed, if frozen
  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 to 5 stems each of fresh sage, rosemary and thyme, if desired
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup plus ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Additional stems rosemary, thyme and sage

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325ºF. Remove giblets and neck from turkey; discard or save for broth, if desired. Rinse cavity of turkey and pat dry. Sprinkle inside of turkey with salt and pepper. Place onion, celery, carrot and if desired 1 to 2 stems each of sage, rosemary and thyme inside turkey. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan; set aside.
  2. In food processor or blender, chop garlic until fine. Add herbs; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add salt and pepper. With machine running, add 1/3 cup olive oil; process until well blended.
  3. Carefully separate (but do not remove) the skin from meat on breast of turkey. Rub 2 Tbsp. olive oil mixture between meat and skin. Replace skin. If desired, add 1 cup water or broth to pan under rack. Roast turkey 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, blend remaining ½ cup olive oil into remaining herb mixture. If desired, bundle remaining fresh herb stems together to form “basting brush”. After 1 hour of roasting, baste turkey with part of herb mixture.
  5. Continue roasting 2 ½ to 3 ¼ hours (see note below) or until internal temperature of thickest part of thigh is 170ºF. and juices run clear, basting every 1 hour. If necessary, cover breast of turkey with foil to prevent over-browning during roasting. Cover loosely; let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

 

Tip: Total roasting time will be about 12 to 20 minutes per pound, depending on size of turkey. This olive oil-herb mixture can also be used when roasting only a turkey breast, and is also excellent on roasted or grilled chicken or pork.

Time Level Yield
5 ¼ hours Moderate 16 servings

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