Roast Turkey

Embrace the essence of holiday traditions with our succulent Roast Turkey recipe, infused with the fresh aromas of rosemary and sage. This recipe promises a turkey that is not just a meal, but a centerpiece of your festive gatherings. We combine the robust flavors of fresh herbs, orange peel, and rich butter to create a turkey that's moist, flavorful, and beautifully browned. Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any special occasion, this roast turkey recipe is a culinary journey worth taking.


  • 16 to 18 pound turkey (including neck and giblets)
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Fresh sage sprigs
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 medium onion, sliced


Begin by defrosting your turkey. If it’s frozen, the safest method is to thaw it in the refrigerator, allowing one day per 5 pounds. For a quicker option, use a cold-water bath, accounting for 30 minutes per pound. You can also combine these methods for convenience.

Once defrosted, rinse the turkey inside and out, and pat it dry. Season the cavities with salt and pepper, and place the rosemary and sage sprigs inside the main cavity. In a saucepan, melt the butter and mix in chopped rosemary, sage, orange peel, pepper, and salt. Brush this aromatic herb butter over the turkey, or gently place it under the skin for more flavor infusion. Tuck the wing tips under the body and tie the legs together to maintain shape.

Prepare your roasting bag by adding a tablespoon of flour and shaking it to coat the inside. Place celery stalks and onion slices at the bottom of the bag, then carefully place the turkey on top of these vegetables. Tie the bag and place it in a high-sided disposable roasting pan, which should then be placed on a sturdy baking sheet.

Roast the turkey in a 350°F oven, calculating the cooking time at 20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 30 minutes for resting before carving. Cover the breast with foil for most of the cooking time, removing it in the last 45 minutes to brown the skin.

Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness. The breast meat should be 170–175°F, and the thigh should reach 180–185°F. Once out of the oven, let the turkey rest for 30 minutes, up to an hour, for the best juiciness.

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