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Herb Butter Turkey

Course Main
Prep Time 8 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 10 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8
Author Food Network Magazine


  • Turkey thawed (mine was 14.5 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Thaw turkey completely. Rinse turkey under cold water and pat dry.
  2. Place a double layer of foil over the turkey breast and press down to form a mold. Cut off excess foil so that the breast “plate” remains.
  3. Combine salt, sugar and 1 teaspoon pepper. Rub all over turkey and inside cavity. Put turkey on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours or overnight. (A dry bring is good is you are low on fridge space.)
  4. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  5. Remove turkey from refrigerator, rinse well with cold water, pat dry, and place in roasting pan.
  6. Make flavored butter: combine butter, parsley, thyme, sage, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, paprika, and ground cloves.
  7. Reserve 2 tablespoons butter, then rub the rest under turkey breast skin and on legs. Rub 1 tablespoon of the reserved butter on top of turkey breast skin; chill and save the rest of the butter for your gravy.
  8. Roast turkey on the lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. If available, insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast. Cover the turkey breast with pre-fitted foil, and reduce heat to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. {I cooked mine for 2 hours at 350}
  9. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for at least 30 minutes before carving.