- 1 12-20 pound turkey
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 apple (your favorite kind), quartered
- .75 ounce container fresh rosemary
- .75 ounce container fresh thyme
- .75 ounce container fresh sage
For the herb butter:
- If the turkey is frozen, allow 24 hours in the fridge for every 5 pounds of turkey to thaw.
- 1 hour before roasting, take the thawed turkey out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature.
- Make sure the turkey is in the center of the oven by adjusting the oven rack. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Combine butter at room temperature, salt, minced garlic, pepper, one tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary, one tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, and half a tablespoon fresh chopped sage to make the herb butter. (The remaining fresh herbs will be used to stuff the cavity of the turkey.)
- Remove the turkey from its packaging and the neck and giblets from the bird’s cavity. (You can save them for gravy or throw them out.) Using paper towels, pat the turkey completely dry.
- Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity with the onion, quartered lemon, apple, and any other leftover herbs.
- Lift the skin above the breasts (on the top of the turkey) with your fingertips and massage a few tablespoons of the herb butter below.
- Set the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan, tucking the wings underneath the bird.
- Microwave the remaining herb butter mixture for 30 seconds (it doesn’t have to be totally melted; it just needs to be very softened). Brush the leftover herb butter all over the outside of the turkey, legs, and wings with a basting brush.
- Roast at 325°F for 13-15 minutes per pound, or until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached when a thermometer is put in the middle of the thigh and breast.
- Check the turkey halfway through cooking and cover the top with tinfoil to preserve the breast meat from overcooking once the skin has turned golden brown. Alternatively, you might start cooking the turkey with it tented in foil, then remove the foil for the last hour or two of cooking to allow the turkey to brown.
- Allow 20-30 minutes for the turkey to rest before carving.
- To prepare turkey gravy, you can save any drippings and juice in your roasting pan.
For more recipe ideas on how to cook a 20-pound turkey, you’ll be needing this video recipe.