Classic Roast Turkey

Preparation info
  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in
Thanksgiving: Recipes for a Holiday Meal

By Lou Seibert Pappas

Published 2011

  • About

This recipe uses a compound butter flavored with fresh herbs and orange zest. Spreading the butter both under and over the bird’s skin helps keep the meat moist and flavorful and the skin crisp.


  • Fresh whole turkey, 1, about 12 pounds
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


About 2 hours before roasting, remove the turkey from the refrigerator. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey cavity. Reserve the liver for another use or discard. If you like, refrigerate the neck, gizzard, and heart to make stock or Giblet Gravy or discard. Pull out the pale yellow pads of fat in the body cavity on both sides of the tail and discard.</