"The biggest myth in all of American cookery is the belief that a juicy, perfectly cooked turkey is difficult for the novice cook to achieve. One of the secrets to a moist, delicious, and beautiful turkey is spreading butter under the skin. You can season the butter any way you want; the possibilities are endless." — Chef John
Watch video tips and tricks
ground black pepper
1 (12 pound)
whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved
onions, coarsely chopped
celery, coarsely chopped
carrots, coarsely chopped
turkey pan drippings
chopped fresh sage
salt and ground black pepper to taste
I was in charge of making the turkey this last Thanksgiving and I came across this recipe. I followed the recipe exactly and I have to say it was the best Turkey we've ever had. Everyone was amazed how moist and flavorful the turkey was. This will be my turkey recipe for now on. It was perfect, I won't change a thing!
Only a partial review, BUT the simple herb coating is FABULOUS! It coats the skin well enough that it doesn't burn or need covering; &, of course, tastes delicious! I combined recipes which basically means, I used olive oil on, & some butter in the turkey. Also put an apple inside - & a T of the seasonings. I used a cup of apple juice & a cup of water in the pan. Gravy was dark, but very good. When turkey time comes again, I'll follow the recipe better. :)
This really was easy for a first-time turkey girl! I am not a cook, in fact, I think of myself as a terrible cook and I wanted to simply buy the frozen slab of turkey meat for Thanksgiving last year. But my bossy little sister forced me to try to make a "real" turkey. So she taught me how to search all recipes and we found this. It was FANTASTIC. Everyone loved our turkey, even my fussy "no-processed-food-ever-amazing-cook-sister". I am going to use this every year!!!! The turkey really does stay incredibly moist and it was delicious. Make sure to search the for the video. Last year it was linked right there with the recipe, but this year I had to do a google search to find it. His step by step easy to follow video really helped.
This is the second time I am making the turkey. One was made for the saturday after thanksgiving, which came out great and the next one was made today. I used all of the ingredients with only one addition to the herb butter, garlic. Just used a small amount. The presentation of the bird is wonderful! the flavors were fantastic and it was so very moist and tender! The steps from the video were spot on and very helpful. Can't wait to try more Chef John recipes!
juicy and delicious!!!!
What an easy, and beautiful, and flavorful, and crispy, *and* moist turkey!(however, I must admit that I did turn down the heat during the last hour thinking we would have to hold the turkey for late comers, but the bird was done 'on time' anyway?!) Made up the butter mixture, the spice mixture, & cut up the veggies ahead of time; helping us get the turkey into the oven so easily come Thanksgiving day. I was shopping for a recipe because it was time to help my daughter learn to roast a turkey, & I want her to learn to cook better than I myself can cook. Yes, my 12 year old daughter & I had prepped a turkey together once before following another method, which didn't work as well as my 'decent' turkeys of the past. So we went shopping together for a new recipe. She was utterly sold on your approach. I let her take the lead. She loved watching your video, and her jaw dropped when she watched you loosen the skin on the breast with a rubber spatula (yes, another thing I'd missed out on in the past, but thanks to you, my daughter will have an easier time of it!). I do plan to obtain a fresh turkey which we can brine next time, but I want to incorporate much of what we learned from you modifying for a brined bird. Will try to remember to let you know how that goes if we proceed as planned..... Either way, thanks so much for helping my daughter's second turkey far exceed anything my mother or I put on the table throughout our entire lives! Gotta love it! Thanks, Chef John!
This was one of the best turkeys I have ever delivered to the table! I would have never thought to have placed it on a bed of vegetables instead of a metal rack. The juices from the pan and stock made for a fabulous gravy. The only thing I did differently was I stuffed the bird. Thanks for the great tips, Chef John!
I'm a novice home cook and this was my first Christmas turkey. It was easy, fun, and the most delicious turkey I have ever tasted. The breast meat was juicy and the fresh herbs made the house smell fantastic for many hours. Can't wait for next year!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Chef John's Roast Turkey and Gravy
Serving Size: 1/16 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 16
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 631
See a simple beginner-friendly method for roasting a moist, beautiful turkey.
Watch a very simple method for prepping and roasting turkey.
Save your sanity on Thanksgiving Day by making rich turkey gravy in advance!