Happy Monday everyone and welcome to The Slow Roasted Italian's Thanksgiving week of posts. We decided to post this week so you have time to shop for your supplies next week! When I planned the menu for our Thanksgiving dinner, I really was excited to try some new things. Truth be told, Mr. W was not as excited. As I have shared before, he is a simple Iowa guy. Meat and potatoes. Nothing creative, nothing different. He would have been happier with my creamy mashed potatoes and plain sweet corn, along side some great stuffing (which he loved) and our FABULOUS turkey Tommy.
Ok, so I told you last week about my lack of experience with cooking whole birds when I posted the Roasted Chicken with Lemons. By the way, if you do not want to do a turkey, that chicken is an amazing alternative. I approached this turkey with the same care that I did our chicken. What I did not tell you last week was my tendency to name everything, I really mean I name things. My daughter Em's high chair is named Chicco (easy enough, that is the brand and he has a tag in the middle of the chair). So, I started calling him Chicco. I name our fresh Christmas trees, usually named the type of the tree (such as Douglas or Noble). Our pumpkins were named, and of course I named our first chicken and our first turkey.
So, let me introduce you to our turkey. His name is Tommy, Tommy the Turkey! I have seen so many shows about making a turkey and seen so many posts about making whole chicken that I just decided to go with it. So, this recipe was my first attempt, but honestly it couldn't have gone better. All the herbs from the turkey dripped into the pan with the butter making for an incredible gravy base. I hope you enjoy.
Oddly, Tommy (the turkey) does not seem to be so photogenic, but he is all about being delicious, moist and amazing! Even Mr. W who is not a fan of turkey, loved it! The Amazing Herb Gravy that I made to go with this will be a separate post, it needs its own post as it is a love story, trust me!!! I ate it with just bread, a lot!!!
Simple Herb Roasted Turkey
1 (12-14 pound) whole, turkey (defrosted)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water
Preheat oven to 325°.
Prepare your turkey by removing innards and washing inside and out in cold water. Set turkey on rack in roasting pan. Slide hand under skin to separate skin from meat. Tuck wings under turkey.
Using your hands coat turkey with your butter mixture. Slide hands under skin to rub herb butter mixture over meat.
Rub mixture all over top, side and legs as well as under the skin. Pour water into pan.
Cover turkey with aluminum foil, bake for 3 ½ hours (basting occasionally if you prefer), or until temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees or more. (Turkey will continue to cook once removed from the oven).
NOTE: Run a checklist in your head BEFORE you put the turkey in the oven. Make sure you have added the water, smothered the turkey in the butter mixture and tucked the wings. Now, if you happen to forget to tuck the wings... Like I did. You can use tongs to do this after it is in the oven, but be warned your turkey is less cooperative once it has started baking. (imagine that). It took me and Mr W and a lot of patience to get those slippery partially cooked wings tucked. Not to mention they poked through my aluminum foil.