Since so many Thanksgiving dinners were spent at my Granny’s, I had never been responsible for the most important part of the feast (the bird!) until recently. So, trust me, I know the anxiety and pressure that comes with preparing this portion of the meal. After a couple trials, this recipe has been perfected to make this process as stress-free (and even fun) as possible. Fresh herbs and lemon zest make this turkey a winner in my book, and I hope y’all love it just the same!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 12
1 (10-pound) turkey
salt, to taste
black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
1 onion, quartered
8 garlic cloves crushed
4 whole sprigs thyme
4 whole sprigs rosemary
a few whole leaves sage
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and place a rack in a roasting pan.
- Rinse and pat dry the whole turkey, being careful to make sure the giblets are removed if included.
- Loosen the breast skin by separating it from the breast meat with your hands, being careful not to break the skin.
- Generously season the inside and outside of the turkey with salt and black pepper.
- Zest two lemons, then cut each lemon in half. Mix the lemon zest with the butter and chopped herbs, and gently rub half of the mixture under the breast skin. Rub the rest of the mixture on top of the turkey all over the breasts and legs.
- Place the onions, lemons, garlic, and whole herbs in the turkey cavity.
- Truss the turkey to keep the legs together and the wings down.
- Place the turkey in the roasting pan on the rack and tightly cover with foil, then roast for for 3-3½ hours. Take the foil off for the last 15 to 30 minutes to brown the skin.
- The turkey is finished when the juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 180° F in the thigh and 165° F in the breast.
- Discard lemons and onions in the cavity and remove the skin before eating.
Smart Points: 7
- Serving Size: 4 ounces
- Calories: 467
- Sugar: 1g
- Sodium: 416mg
- Fat: 11g
- Saturated Fat: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 4g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 85g
- Cholesterol: 261mg