By far Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. How can it not be with the gathering of family, and of course the food. Like most, the star of my family meal is the turkey. We all have our “go to” recipe for the turkey. Without a doubt, my turkey recipe of choice is a herbed roasted turkey. We have been using this recipe for more than five years, and it has never disappointed.
The key to this recipe is definitely the homemade herb paste. Also, it’s the placement of the paste on (and in) the turkey. To get a mouthful of delicious herbs in every bite, you make a pocket in the breast of the bird. That is where you pack the wonderful herb paste.
12 to 14 pounds – Rinse
2 cups of Kosher salt
Homemade Herb Paste
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 medium garlic cloves (minced)
3 teaspoons fresh sage (chopped)
1.5 teaspoons fresh rosemary (chopped)
3 teaspoons fresh thyme (chopped)
2 cups fresh parsley (chopped)
Put salt in approximately two gallons of cold water into a pot (or large enough container). Place turkey in the water and let it refrigerate for 5-6 hours.
Once time is up, take the turkey out of the water and dry it off completely. Let it air dry for 20-30 minutes.
Creating The Herb Paste
Take all of the fresh herbs (with the salt & pepper) and run through a food processor. You want a thick paste. While running it through the processor, add the mustard and olive oil.
Get your roasting pan ready. Make sure your turkey doesn’t have any moisture on it. With your hands, loosen the skin. Be careful not to break it. Take the herb paste and liberally place some under the skin of the turkey.
Time for what I call the flavor pocket. With a knife, cut a slit into the thickest part of each breast. Put some of that herb goodness into the pockets.
Finally, use the remaining paste to cover the exterior of the turkey.
All that’s left is to cook the turkey to your liking. If you ensure that the skin is dry when you put the paste on, you should have an incredibly crispy bird.
If you decide to use this recipe, I would love to see a photo. Enjoy and have a great thanksgiving.