Rosemary Sage Roasted Turkey

I cannot believe it’s already December!! Seriously, where did this year go?! When I was growing up, people would always say how time goes by faster and faster the older you get… and I’m realizing now just how true that is! Makes me want to freeze each moment and enjoy it just a little bit more. And on that note…does the holiday season make anyone else sentimental and nostalgic? ;)

Alright, back to Thanksgiving – we had such a fun week! I got off work early on Wednesday and headed home to start cooking for our Friendsgiving that night! We had invited over some of our friends who don’t have any family in the area to do a potluck type dinner & just spend time together. I’ll do another post soon with some pictures of the decorations (and our crazy friends)! I ended up being in charge of the turkey and I’m not gonna lie.. it was a little nerve-wracking! I didn’t think a 13-lb bird would be that intimidating… but 16 dinners were riding on my culinary success. So I was definitely feelin’ the pressure!!

I debated between a bacon-wrapped turkey and a rosemary/sage rub for a loong time (seriously y’all, it was painful), but ended up going with the herbs.. mostly because you can’t really go wrong with those flavors! I also used an oven bag to help retain the moisture, BUT I overestimated the cooking time and the stupid thing was ready at 4:45… when people weren’t coming until 7. Fail. So I wrapped the entire roasting pan in 2 towels to try to keep it warm & it worked! It stayed hot AND didn’t dry out. Cue the deep sigh of relief. All in all, Friendsgiving was a great night – no one got hurt, the food was delicious & we laughed until our stomachs hurt. That’s what I call a success! Now for the recipe:

ROSEMARY SAGE ROASTED TURKEY (3 hr cook time for a 13-lb bird)

The ingredients!

The ingredients!

  • 1 turkey (12-15 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh sage
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 meat thermometer
  • 1 roasting pan

Okay, I have to confess something here – raw birds FREAK the beejesus out of me. And my husband is even worse, so he was absolutely NO help. I painstakingly pulled all the innards out while Matt and I created a beautiful symphony of simultaneous gagging and screeching. But we survived. And only almost puked twice. And now we don’t have to do it again for another 365 days. Praise the good Lord.

Getting ready to gut and clean it!

Getting ready to gut and clean it!

Take the skin off from around the legs and remove pretty much everything you see inside the cavity. Then pull back the skin from around the neck, remove the bag of organs & trash. Unless you really want to make something from them. Then by all means, cook until your heart’s content. Just don’t tell me about it.

Rinse the bird well in cold water (I even used my sprayer!) and then pat dry (make sure it’s really dry!). Using your thumbs, carefully push back all of the skin on the turkey. It’s pretty simple – just go slowly and you’ll see how easily the skin separates. This will allow you to spread the rub under the skin, sealing in that flavor.

Don't forget to do the legs too!

Don’t forget to do the legs too!

Umm.. sidenote. How beautiful are fresh herbs?! LOVE it!!

Smells heavenly..

They smell heavenly too!

Preheat your oven to 350. Chop your rosemary, sage and garlic into small pieces.

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It took about 2 sprigs of rosemary to equal 2 TBSP

I used a mason jar for the next part because it’s so much easier to mix the rub this way!

Add the softened butter, olive oil, chopped herbs, garlic, and seasonings into the jar and shake. And shake some more. And then a little bit more.

Seriously - this smelled so good!

Seriously – this smelled so good!

Scoop up some of the rub and place it under the skin of the turkey, making sure to cover the breasts and legs. Coat the outside of the turkey with some of the rub too! Don’t skimp on this part – the more of the mixture on the bird, the better!┬áSo slather it on there, nice and thick!

I used Reynold’s Oven Bags and they were great! Matt held the bag open while I slid the turkey in and then we pulled the tie tight, cut 6 small slits in the bag (according to the directions) and placed it in the oven.

Almost there!

Almost there!

It cooked for 3 hours at 350 and was PERFECT. I had a 13-lb turkey, so I would add or subtract about 20 minutes for each pound above or below that. For example, if you have a 12-lb turkey, check the internal temp at 2 hours and 40 minutes. If you have a 15-lb turkey, check the internal temp at 3 hours and 40 minutes. You should check it periodically anyways, especially since every oven is different! I used a digital thermometer & LOVED it, just an FYI.

A few pictures of the finished product! Sorry for the lighting on some of these – still playing with my new camera (more on that later!)!

What a beaut!

What a beaut!

The skin crisped up perfectly!

The skin crisped up perfectly!

Our spread!

Our spread!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving too! Did you have any mishaps (like your turkey being ready 3 hrs early?)?? What are some of your favorite turkey recipes? I’d love to hear from you!

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