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Traditional recipes

Roast Turkey with Orange-Rosemary Butter and Pan Gravy

Roast Turkey with Orange-Rosemary Butter and Pan Gravy

 Thanksgiving Hall of Fame series. Orange-rosemary butter is spread under the turkey skin to melt during roasting; it produces a moist and aromatic bird." />Thanksgiving Hall of Fame series. Orange-rosemary butter is spread under the turkey skin to melt during roasting; it produces a moist and aromatic bird." />

This recipe comes from the December 1989 issue and is part of our Thanksgiving Hall of Fame series. Orange-rosemary butter is spread under the turkey skin to melt during roasting; it produces a moist and aromatic bird.



  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 4 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled


  • 1 14-pound turkey (neck, heart and gizzard reserved for Giblet Stock)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1½ teaspoons dried, crumbled
  • 3 cups Giblet Stock (click for recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Additional fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

Recipe Preparation


  • Blend butter, orange juice concentrate, orange peel, rosemary and pepper in processor until well blended. Transfer mixture to bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight to blend flavors. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.) Bring to room temperature before using.


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse turkey and pat dry. Season cavity with salt and pepper. Place 5 fresh rosemary sprigs in cavity or rub inside with dried rosemary. Gently slide fingers under breast skin to separate skin from breast meat, forming pocket. Rub all but ½ cup orange-rosemary butter under breast skin. Truss turkey. Place on rack in large roasting pan.

  • Roast turkey 1 hour. Reduce oven to 325°F. Continue cooking turkey until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, basting turkey occasionally with ¼ cup of orange-rosemary butter and tenting with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Transfer turkey to platter. Tent with foil to keep warm.

  • Pour off fat from pan. Place pan over medium-high heat. Add 3 cups stock and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Boil until liquid is reduced to 1½ cups, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Mix remaining ¼ cup orange-rosemary butter with flour to form paste. Gradually add paste to reduced liquid and whisk until gravy boils and is thick, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into sauceboat.

  • Surround turkey with orange slices and fresh rosemary. Serve with gravy.

Reviews Section

Orange And Herb Roasted Turkey

14 pounds whole turkey
freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
1 medium orange, cut into wedges
6 fresh rosemary sprigs (4 to 5 inches long)
4 fresh thyme sprigs (4 to 5 inches long)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 can (6 ounce size) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
reduced- odium chicken broth
4 teaspoons finely snipped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
Candied fruit slices and/or fresh fruit, such as pears, oranges, and kumquats (optional)

Ok, so first we have to understand what a brine is. Simply put, a brine is a solution of salt and water that is used for pickling, preserving or tenderizing food. Other flavorings such as herbs, spices and sugar are also often added to the solution.

There are many benefits to brining meant, but in this instance we’re using a brine to tenderize, moisturize and flavor our turkey. Additionally, it also cuts down on the cooking time, which makes timing and cooking the Thanksgiving meal easier.

The only precaution is to make sure the word “pre-brined” is not printed on your turkey packaging. Butterball turkeys, for instance, come pre-brined and would be too salty if they were brined a second time.

For this recipe we’re keeping our brine easy, yet flavorful. Our solution is comprised of water, salt, orange juice concentrate, black peppercorns and dried bay leaves. Orange juice is often used in meat marinades for its acidic quality—aka tenderization quality.

How do you make herb butter?

Speaking of butter, I highly recommend using grass-fed butter for this. It has a richer flavor and is cleaner than traditional butter. You can also use ghee. Ghee is butter with the milk solids removed and it&rsquos super easy (and cheaper) to make Homemade Ghee at home!

Did you see that post I did a few years ago about making Herb Butter Coins for roast chickens? It&rsquos such a brilliant hack, really. If you&rsquove ever tried to rub butter on meat, you know that most of it ends up on your hands. Making coins is so much better and it&rsquos also really easy. I&rsquoll show you in a sec.

In this particular herb butter I used shallots, garlic, orange & lemon zest, sea salt, and lots of fresh rosemary and thyme.

Side note: Using herb butter makes THE BEST GRAVY EVER.

Once you get it all mixed together, dump it out onto a piece of parchment paper.

Then roll it up like a giant piece of candy. (That&rsquos what my 5-year-old called it.) Put it in the fridge until it hardens. You can do this several days ahead of time if you need to.

When the turkey is brined and you&rsquore ready to prep it from the oven, you&rsquoll need to gather a few things &mdash a sharp knife, kitchen twine, scissors, your roasting pan, and a heavy pair of tongs to help move the turkey around. Also, the stuff you plan on putting inside the turkey.

I&rsquove learned it&rsquos much easier to assemble everything you need ahead of time so you don&rsquot end up washing your hands 37426 times because you forgot to grab something out of a cabinet or a drawer.

(You also end up washing your hands that many times when you&rsquore trying to photograph turkey prep. There&rsquos not really any way around that, unfortunately.)

Prepping a turkey is like prepping a really big chicken. There&rsquos not that much difference, really.

I wiped off the extra brine because I didn&rsquot want the skin too peppery. Don&rsquot wash it off though, because you&rsquoll need that extra flavor.

I also loosened the skin from the flesh using my fingers and the end of a plastic mixing spoon to get into hard-to-reach areas. After I cut the herb butter into coins, I inserted them under the skin. (See how much easier this is!?) I also made small incisions in the skin between the leg and thigh so I could get butter coins in those places, too. Don&rsquot worry if the skin rips a little. Try to be careful, but sometime it happens. Like that leg on the left up there. Oops.

Stuff some citrus and herbs into the body cavity, tuck the wings behind the body and tie the legs together. And drizzle the whole thing with avocado oil. I put some celery, carrots, onion, fresh herbs, and orange halves in the bottom of the roasting pan with about 2 cups of water, too.

Now&hellip. flip the whole thing over.

Yep. Do it. Starting off the cooking process upside down lets the juices flow to the breast meat, which is where it needs to be. It&rsquos the area of the bird that usually dries out the most.

After an hour or so, flip it back over to finish cooking and make sure to baste it occasionally.

Ta-da! Check out that beautiful bird!

Making a dry brine turkey is so much easier than an immersion brine. The recipe may look long and daunting, but it&rsquos really not hard! There&rsquos just a lot of explaining.

The gravy turned out FANTASTIC. Herb butters make the best gravy, I swear.

Also, SAVE YOUR BONES!! I got 2 gallons of turkey stock out of this lovely lady. You can use my Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth recipe and 2 batches of bones in a 6 qt Instant Pot.

I was so happy with this turkey, and I&rsquom such a fan of Diestel&rsquos products and mission. They also make year-round turkey products including Non-GMO Project Verified and organic deli slices, chorizo, and turkey sausage. I&rsquove tried all of these over the past few years, and they&rsquore super tasty.

All right my friends. Go forth and make your dry brine turkey. And be sure to check in often this week because I&rsquom going to have FOUR paleo-friendly side dishes and a dessert recipe for you! (Hint: Apples + Spiralizer = Mind Blown.)

Turkey Breast Only:

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast from Salt and Pepper Kitchen &ndash Roasting just the turkey breast is a delicious and pain-free alternative to cooking a whole turkey. Brining it first guarantees tons of flavor and juicy turkey in every bite!!

Instant Pot Turkey Breast from Recipes From a Pantry &ndash With this recipe for Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Garlic Butter Gravy you can make moist and juicy turkey and gravy in less than an hour! So easy and so delicious, you will not only want to make this for Thanksgiving but all year long as well.

Air Fryer Turkey Breast from Recipes from a Pantry &ndash Air frying a turkey breast results in incredibly moist, juicy turkey, and so easy to make! Perfect for both busy midweek meals and holiday celebrations.

Garlic Herb Maple Roast Turkey from Nutmeg Nanny &ndash This garlic herb maple roast turkey is packed full of flavor with just a touch of maple syrup sweetness. It&rsquos the perfect addition to any holiday table!

Instant Pot Turkey Breast from Boulder Locavore &ndash Instant Pot Turkey Breast is easy, fast, full of flavor and so juicy! A special trick crisps the skin and makes this a fantastic way to enjoy turkey any time of the year.

Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast from Wonky Wonderful &ndash This Oven Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe with butter, dried herbs, garlic powder and onion powder is perfect for those small holiday menus. If you&rsquore hosting a small Christmas or Thanksgiving Dinner, this butter and herb turkey breast will be perfect!

Easy Roast Turkey Breast from Cook Eat Paleo &ndash only a TWO ingredients are needed for this amazing turkey breast recipe! Using duck fat and sea salt, we end up with a flavorful breast that couldn&rsquot be any easier to prepare!

Air Fryer Turkey Breast from Tasty Air Fryer Recipes &ndash Keep this Air Fryer Turkey Breast Recipe handy for the holiday season. This turkey breast cooked in an air fryer is a goof-proof and delicious way to prepare turkey for smaller holiday feasts.

Crock Pot Turkey Breast from Allergy Awesomeness &ndash Thanks to the slow cooker and generous seasonings, this Crock pot Turkey Breast not only makes the main dish for your Thanksgiving, but the amazing juices make the simplest blender onion mushroom gravy.

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast with Wild Rice Stuffing and Cranberry Apple Chutney from Iowa Girl Eats &ndash If you are feeding a crowd this year, keep this Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast recipe in your back pocket for a festive meal this season. You&rsquoll love it!

Crock Pot Turkey Breast with Herbs from Mom on Timeout &ndash This Crockpot Turkey Breast recipe is hands down, the most amazing turkey you will ever eat! Juicy, tender, succulent and bursting with flavor, this easy recipe is a necessary addition to your holiday feast!

Instant Pot Frozen Turkey Breast from The Blond Cook &ndash So incredibly moist and tender, this Instant Pot Frozen Turkey Breast (and gravy!) is prepared in a fraction of the time than traditional baking.

Grilled Brown Sugar Tenderloin from A Farmgirl&rsquos Dabbles &ndash This Grilled Turkey Tenderloin with Brown Sugar and Whole Grain Mustard recipe is tender, flavorful, and easy to make! Perfect for Thanksgiving and summer grilling! Plus, turkey tenderloin is lower in fat than dark meat, so it&rsquos a great option for those trying to keep it lower in calories or fat.

Orange Rosemary Roasted Turkey

This Orange Rosemary Roasted Turkey is flavorful and bright – this recipe will make it easy for you this Thanksgiving.

Serving amount depends on weight of turkey.


  • 1 whole turkey (any weight works, the cooking time will depend on the weight)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped to release flavors
  • 2 yellow onions, rough chopped into chunks
  • 4 large oranges (zest then chop into quarters) (reserve zest)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


I start by chopping and measuring everything, before I’ve even touched the turkey—this helps keep your kitchen and hands as clean as possible.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Get out your roasting pan.

First zest the skin on all of the oranges.

Rough chop the onions and oranges (leave skin on oranges) into chunks.

Dump into a large bowl and add olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix oranges and onions to completely coat with oil and zest and rosemary. Set aside.

Now it’s time to prep the turkey. Get out three plastic grocery bags. One will go over your hand to pull out the turkey innards, and the other two layer together and set next to the sink. This is where you’ll put all the trash.

Next to your sink place the extra plastic sack, paper towels, roasting pan, string, bowl with oranges and onions, and butter.

This sink prep will help keep the process as clean as possible.

Clean out both sides of your sink. Put the trash bag sacks on one side of the sink. The turkey will go in the other.

Get your bleach cleaner and paper towels out and handy.

Get your turkey out of the refrigerator and cut off the packaging and stick the packaging in the trash bag in the sink. Put the extra plastic bag over your hand, stick your hand into the turkey and pull out the innards—sometimes they are in a bag and sometimes they are loose. This should include the giblets and the turkey neck. (Some turkeys only have one of these – some have none). Pull your hand out, pull the bag over them and toss them into the trash sack. Now turn on cold water and rinse off the turkey. You’ll need to fill the inside with water too and turn it upside down to get all the blood off.

Next look to see if there is a neck still attached at the top of the turkey. If so you need to snap it off and throw it in the trash sack. Give it a good rinsing and then pat it dry with paper towels and set it in the roasting pan.

Thoroughly clean off the counter, and the sink with soap and water and bleach spray.


Set out all mixture of oranges, onions, olive oil so it's easily accessible on the counter.

Also set out your softened butter

Take the chopped oranges and onions out of the olive oil mixture and stuff as many as you can into the cavity of the bird. Reserve the rest of the oil in the bowl. You’ll need this for coating the turkey later.

Any extra oranges and onions that don't fit inside the bird, set in the bottom of the roasting pan. These make delicious gravy drippings.

Next grab a sharp knife – on the skin just above the opening where you stuffed in the oranges and onions, pull the skin up and cut it with a small slit, so you can slide your hand under the skin, onto the turkey breast. Grab a chunk of the softened butter with your hands and rub it all over the chicken breast (under the skin). Rub butter underneath all the skin on top and then rub butter on the outside of the skin too. Rub butter all over the turkey.

Grab the remaining olive oil from the orange bowl and rub the olive oil/rosemary mixture all over the turkey. Rub in on the top, bottom, and sides too.

Grab your string and tie the legs together as tightly as you can to hold the shape of the turkey and keep it together. (Some turkeys come with a pre-tied plastic holder on the turkey legs – this can be cooked with the turkey, so just leave that on).

Put water in the roasting pan, about 3 inches up the side.

Place roasting pan in the oven and use the chart below to determine cook time based on weight of turkey.

(These times are based on placing the whole turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, and into a preheated 350 degree F (175 degrees C) oven.)

Cook the turkey uncovered until the skin is a light golden brown color, and then cover loosely with a foil tent.

If you still want the skin more golden brown, during the last 20 minutes of baking, you can remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Baste the turkey every 40-50 minutes, to keep it from getting too dry.

The turkey is done when the thickest part of the breast meat reaches an internal temperature of 165° degrees F. To get an accurate reading, be sure that your thermometer is not touching the bone.

You can also cut into the turkey to see if the juices run clear, but this isn't as accurate as a thermometer reading.

When the turkey is done, remove from the oven and allow to stand for 20-30 minutes, covered in foil, before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, and makes for easier carving.

Once you're ready to eat, carve the turkey and place on a serving platter.

Recipe Notes

Hope you love this Turkey. Be sure tag me me @plumstreetcollective on Instagram with this or any other of your Holiday recipes.

Turkey Gravy recipes

This is my families recipe for turkey gravy. We use it on the turkey and cornbread dressing. ( more )

Combine together 2 tablespoons water and flour. Place drippings, flour water mixture, 2 c w. ( more )

Pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-quart glass measure (do not clean roastin. ( more )

This is so simple to make and is delicious with your roast Turkey or Chicken. You may vary t. ( more )

Remove Turkey (roast, chicken) from the roasting pan, skim off the fat leaving only apprx 1/. ( more )

I got this recipe from a radio program. Makes Thanksgiving so much easier, and tastier too! . ( more )

Cut the turkey wing into pieces with a heavy knife. (If using neck and giblets, cut the neck. ( more )

"Make the holidays extra special with Perfect Turkey Gravy. Great flavor, no lumps, and perf. ( more )

Combine Turkey Gravy Mix and flour in a medium saucepan. Using a whisk, gradually stir in wa. ( more )

Peel and chop 1 onion quarter, then pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Add miso. ( more )

Thought I'd post this recipe I found in the Nov. 2002 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine ea. ( more )

In deep 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add turkey wings and cook. ( more )

Well here is that recipe for the Turkey Crown!

He used both turkey breasts, which was a serious amount of meat and put at least 3 slices of thickly cut turkey on each plate….so judge for yourself regarding how generous you want to be with the turkey!!

5kg (11lb) turkey crown (off the bone)

75g (3oz) butter (at room temperature)

finely grated rind of 1 orange

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

4 rindless smoked bacon rashers

2 litres (3 ½ pints) buttermilk

3 tbsp Maldon sea salt (or kosher)

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves and sliced

15g (1/2oz) fresh rosemary sprigs, roughly bruised

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

450ml (3/4 pint) turkey or chicken stock

crispy roast potatoes, sausage stuffing and selection of vegetables, to serve (see separate recipes)

Mix all the ingredients together in turkey bag for the buttermilk brine and add the turkey crown. Tie up the bag securely and place in the salad drawer at the bottom of the fridge for up to 2 days is best but at least 24 hours.

When ready to cook the turkey reheat the oven to 190C (375F), Gas mark 5.

repare the turkey crown, Cream the butter until really soft, then add the crushed garlic, orange, parsley and rosemary. Beat well until thoroughly blended. Remove the turkey crown from the brine and drain off any excess liquid, then pat the skin of the turkey dry with kitchen paper. Gently loosen the neck flap away from the breast, pack the flavoured butter right under the skin, this is best using gloves on your hands, rub into flesh of turkey well, then recover with skin and secure with a small skewer or sew with fine twine, then cover the top with the rashers.

Place the prepared turkey crown in the oven and calculate your time, 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 20 minutes. The turkey crown will cook much quicker, so make sure to keep basting you can cover with foil if it’s browning too quickly. When cooked cover with foil to rest and keep warm. Drain away all but three tablespoons of the cooking juices and reserve.

Skim all the fat from the cooking juices, then pour off all but three tablespoons juices from the roasting tin. Stir the flour into the pan residue and cook, stirring over a low heat until golden. Stir in the onion and thyme and then gradually pour in the stock, stirring all time. Bring to the boil, and let bubble for 2-3 minutes until thickened and the onion has cooked through. Season to taste and , then strain through a sieve and keep warm.

To serve, carve the turkey crown into slices and arrange on warmed plates with the roast potatoes and vegetables. Pour the gravy into a warmed gravy jug and hand around separately.

To test if the turkey crown is cooked pierce the thickest part with a long clean skewer or knitting needle. If the juices run clear, it is ready, if a little pink then return to the oven and cook a little longer.

Herb Butter Coins for Roasted Chicken

I love the Food Network. Do you? What are your favorite shows?

Right now I&rsquom digging Aarti Parti. She&rsquos absolutely adorable, and I love that she gives her meat feminine granny names. Her laugh kind of made me nervous at first, but it&rsquos grown on me. I have a feeling she has some inner-hippie, and I want to be her best friend.

I also love Chopped. And Pioneer Woman&rsquos show &mdash a favorite of my girls.

I used to watch Sandra Lee a LONG time ago. Then when I started transitioning to a whole-food kitchen, I realized she&rsquos kind of the processed food queen of the Food Network. I think I liked her show in the same way you can&rsquot stop looking at an accident on the side of the road. (Did her outfits ALWAYS have to match the drapes in her stage kitchen? And seriously, what normal person is going to make tablescapes like hers? You can&rsquot even fit food on the table.)

Ironically, I found her cocktails combinations interesting. And I don&rsquot even drink alcohol.

I did learn something brilliant from her, though &mdash one of the smartest and most successful ways to flavor a roast chicken (or turkey). I&rsquove used butter rubs in the past, but most of it stayed on my hands instead of on the chicken (much less under the skin).

When you make an herb (or compound) butter (you can put whatever you want in it&hellip I included my version at the bottom of the post), dump it onto a piece of wax paper and fold it inside.

Take a dough scraper or a spatula and tighten it into a roll. (Hard to explain&hellip see up there?)

Twist the ends together and pop it in the freezer for a while until it gets hard.

When you&rsquore ready to dress your chicken (Amelia Bedelia made little clothes for hers, remember? Hahaha.) Cut it into &ldquocoins&rdquo.

After loosening the skin on the chicken, just slide a few on each side of the breast, one in each leg, and one on each thigh.

Slide them around (from the outside!) until you have them placed where you want them. If you have leftover coins, just drop them into the roasting pan over the vegetables (if you&rsquore roasting vegetables with your chicken). Or put it back in the freezer for later.

The result: moist (if you don&rsquot overcook), noticeably seasoned meat. Roasted chicken is always great, but sometimes I feel like the meat doesn&rsquot absorb all of the flavors I try to infuse into it&hellip until now.

What I really want to know is&hellip. WHY DID IT TAKE ME 6 YEARS TO TRY THIS OUT?

I used an orange-rosemary herb butter for this Dry Brined Turkey recently, and&hellip. wow. Also, when you use herb butters it makes the BEST gravy. THE. BEST.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 whole turkey (about 12 pounds), thawed if frozen, neck and giblets removed, and rinsed and patted dry
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 7 wide strips lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 cups Mushroom and Walnut Stuffing
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges

Let turkey sit at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lower third. In a small saucepan, heat oil, rosemary, garlic, and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook until garlic is soft and lemon is slightly shriveled, 1 minute. Remove rosemary-lemon oil from heat and let cool.

Tuck wing tips underneath body of turkey. Season inside of turkey with salt and pepper. Loosely fill large cavity and neck cavity with stuffing fold neck skin over opening. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Brush turkey all over with 1/2 cup rosemary-lemon oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place onion in a heavy-bottomed roasting pan. Set a roasting rack over onion and place turkey on top. Roast until turkey is golden brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, add 1 cup water to pan, and roast, brushing turkey with remaining rosemary oil every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh reads 165 degrees, 1 1/2 to 2 hours (add some water, if pan becomes dry).

Transfer turkey to a platter or cutting board and loosely tent with foil let rest 30 minutes. Reserve pan with drippings for White Wine Gravy. To serve, scoop out stuffing and carve turkey.

Watch the video: Garlic and Herb Butter Roasted Turkey (January 2022).