turkey

citrus herb roasted turkey

I’ve been keeping a little secret from you guys.

citrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemaker

Ever since last Thanksgiving I’ve been considering the fact that Thanksgiving recipes need to be posted well in advance of the big day if they’ll actually be of any use to you guys. I love the idea that some of my recipes might make it on to your buffet and feed your family miles and miles away from Brooklyn, but if I wait until after Thanksgiving to post them, odds are that you’ll forget all about them by this time next year. So essentially I need to test, and make, and photograph, and eat an entire buffet’s worth of recipes in advance to make sure you have time to see them, drool over them, pin them, plan your grocery lists, and make your action plan for turkey day.

citrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemaker

So, that’s exactly what I did.

At first I thought I’d just take my time, trying out one recipe at a time and collecting the posts slowly until I had everything I needed. It didn’t take me long to realize though, that eventually I’d need to roast a turkey. Not a chicken, an entire turkey. Russell and I are only two people, and we can only eat so much turkey ourselves without getting sick to death of the stuff.

So the slow and steady plan was tossed out the window and I decided to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner and invite some friends over to eat it with me. I also decided that if I was going to make the whole dinner, I might as well go all out and host one hell of a dinner party while I was at it.

citrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemaker

We don’t have room for a dining table in our tiny Brooklyn apartment, so the bulk of our “dinner parties” usually involve our guests plopping their butts where ever they can find a seat, be it on the sofa, a chair, or the floor. However, since I was cooking and staging an entire fake Thanksgiving dinner for the blog, I wanted it to feel a little fancier and more formal than randomly plopped butts. Since we do have a table in our backyard, we decided Thanksgiving would have to come early enough that our guests wouldn’t be shivering between bites of turkey. A date was set late in September and we started planning the guest list.

With an actual table to sit at, I immediately started a mental inventory of our stemware, serving dishes, and flatware. If you asked Russell he’d probably tell you I went a little overboard looking for salad plates and linen napkins and searching ebay for vintage brass flatware. If you asked me instead though, I’d tell you it was worth it for the opportunity to host a real sit down dinner party with good food and great friends.

citrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemakercitrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemaker

A lot of other food blogs do a similar pre-Thanksgiving dinner and photoshoot, and many of them refer to their staged meal as Friendsgiving. Since I work in retail and don’t live close to family, my Thanksgivings are always spent with friends though, so I wanted to call it something else.

I was making a entire fake Thanksgiving spread two whole months ahead of time, so I decided to call it Fakesgiving.

citrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemaker

When it came to menu planning, I wanted to try to cover the bases for a traditional menu but put my own twist on things. I wanted to keep the flavors simple and complimentary, while offering interesting, impressive, and totally delicious recipes. While I like to try to make as much from scratch as possible, roasting my own pumpkins and squash rather than using canned, I also didn’t want any of my recipes to be so fussy that they’d be unattainable or unrealistic for a meal that’s already so involved and time consuming to prepare. In the end, I think I did alright!

Thanksgiving pies |Brooklyn Homemaker

Our Fakesgiving Menu:

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Walnuts and Pomegranate
Citrus Herb Roasted Turkey (recipe below)
Mushroom, Leek, & Sourdough Dressing (from 2 years ago)
Herb and Cheddar Corn Pudding
Creamed Kale Gratin
Roasted Maple Dijon Carrots
Flaky Butternut Sage Biscuits

Bourbon Ginger Pumpkin Pie
Maple Walnut Pie
Classic Apple Pie (from last year)

fakegiving dinner spread| Brooklyn Homemaker

I talked a bit last year about how I like to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner, but I want to mention again that I think it’s really helpful to think ahead. This might seem a little neurotic, but I really like to sort of mentally pair each recipe I’ll serve with an appropriate serving dish and utensil, just to make sure I don’t realize that day that I don’t have a big enough salad bowl, or I don’t have enough serving spoons for everything on the table. I also like to write out timelines and grocery lists and to do lists (so many lists) for myself so there are no surprises. I’m sure that Russell got sick of hearing about my Fakesgiving planning but everything went off without a hitch so I think it was worth it.

citrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemaker

With dinner served, photos snapped, and wine poured, it was time to chow down. Boy did we ever chow down.

citrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemakercitrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemakercitrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemaker

Doris wanted to see what all the excitement was about and see if her puppy dog eyes could get her a bite or two of turkey.

citrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemaker

Now that we’ve talked about the party, let’s talk turkey shall we?

I definitely have some more sharing to come, but one of the most important recipes when it comes to Thanksgiving is the ol’ turkey, so I thought now would be a good time to tell you how I like to do mine. I’ve been making this same recipe for years now, because after all the things I’ve tried in the past, this has produced the most consistent, moist, and delicious results. I’ve done the brine thing before, but this method is way less hassle and produces, hands down, the best turkey I’ve ever made. Year after year I’m showered with compliments.

The key to this recipe is that the turkey is roasted breast-side down for the first few hours. Even though flipping it back over can be tricky, doing it this way is the key to moist and flavorful breast meat. As the dark meat cooks the fat and juices run downward through the breast adding tons of fat and flavor. The only reason it’s flipped back up is to brown the skin on the breast for crispier skin and a prettier and more traditional presentation. I don’t have silicone or waterproof oven mitts, so I cover them in ziplock bags and lift the turkey up as Russell holds the roasting pan steady.

To avoid drying the breast meat I think it’s also really important to give the turkey a good long rest, between 30 and 45 minutes, for the juices to reabsorb into the meat before slicing. Luckily, this resting time also gives you a really cozy window for making gravy, reheating casseroles, and browning biscuits.

citrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemaker

To add even more fat and flavor and make the bird as moist and flavorful as possible, a citrus and herb compound butter is rubbed all over the skin before it goes into the oven. I like to use super traditional poultry herbs like thyme, sage, and parsley to really compliment the rich flavor of the turkey. To brighten things up a little though, I love using a mix of lemon and orange zest for a bit of zip.

I’m telling you guys. I’ve made this recipe three years in a row and I’m planning on making it a second time this year in a few weeks. It’s a real winner, and many of my friends can attest to that.

citrus herb roasted turkey | Brooklyn Homemaker

Roasted Turkey with Citrus Herb Butter

  • Servings: Feeds many many people, depending on the size of your bird
  • Print

Citrus Herb Butter:
1 1/2 sticks of salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons brown sugar
zest of one large orange
zest of two lemons

Roasted Turkey:
1 15-20 lb fresh turkey *see note
citrus, herbs, onions and apples for filling
carrots, onions, celery (and apples if desired) for roasting to flavor gravy

chicken or turkey stock

To make the flavored butter, mash all ingredients into the softened butter with a fork (or with a mixer) and mix until well combined. Place in an air tight container and refrigerate. Remove from fridge and soften for an hour or two before you’re ready to use it. If you forget to do this you can soften it in your hands.

If possible, wash the turkey and remove the gizzards and neck the night before Thanksgiving. Pat dry, inside and out, with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. If you can’t do this the night before, do at least one hour before the turkey goes into the oven. Cover with foil or a lid and move to the refrigerator. Hold onto the gizzards and neck for gravy.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Roughly chop a few pieces of celery, carrots, onions & apples and place in the bottom of a large roasting pan. You don’t need to peel the skin off the onion and you can use the leafy tops of the celery. Add a few sprigs of herbs and your reserved neck and gizzards, and add enough chicken or turkey stock to come about an inch up the side of the pan. Add a large roasting rack to the pan.

Rub the softened citrus herb butter completely over your turkey on all sides and some on the inside cavity. Reserve a few tablespoons to reapply later. Place your butter covered turkey, breast side down, on your roasting rack. Fill the cavity of the turkey with roughly chopped citrus, apples, onions and herbs, or whatever flavors you’d like. Leave some room for air to circulate in the cavity or the turkey will take longer to cook and could dry out.

Transfer Turkey to the oven, uncovered, and roast for 3 1/2 hours basting every 30 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the turkey breast side up. They make special turkey lifters to make this easier, or you can use large rigid spatulas, or oven mitts covered in plastic bags. You might want an extra set of hands to keep the roasting pan steady or help out. Rub the remaining citrus herb butter on the breast side of the turkey and return to oven for 1 1/2 to 2 more hours, or until a meat thermometer placed in the thigh meat reads 165 degrees. Continue basting every 30 minutes until done. Your total roasting time will depend on the size of the bird. Closer to 15 pounds should take about 4 1/2 to 5 hours, 20 pounds more like 5 1/2 hours.

When the turkey is done, remove from oven and transfer from roasting rack to a large carving board. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 30 minutes, up to 45 or 50. Strain the juices from the pan and use for gravy, adding more stock if necessary. You can use this resting time to reheat or finish any remaining sides in the oven. Carve and serve your bird and brace yourself for a barrage of compliments.

*Note: I like to say you want your about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of turkey per person- this will ensure everyone is completely satisfied and you have some leftovers for sandwiches and something leftover to make soup or turkey pot pie.

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Turkey Soup with Wild Rice and Dill

I’m not sure if I’ve told you guys this yet or not, but I really enjoy Thanksgiving. I do. Friends, family, food, and wine. It doesn’t get much better than that. For most people, Thanksgiving is probably the biggest meal they prepare for the entire year. Not only are we roasting a giant bird that takes up the whole oven for 5+ hours, but we’re also making multiple desserts, and multiple vegetables, multiple sides & multiple accompaniments to that bird. In my family, and now in my home, Thanksgiving takes days, not hours, to prepare.

turkey soup with wild rice and dill | Brooklyn Homemaker

The second best part of such a large meal that took so much time and effort to prepare is the left overs! (The first is obviously eating it the first time around with people you love) In my family, and I think in most people’s families, we tend to eat our meal early, have pie a few hours later, and then go back in a few hours after that for sandwiches made from leftover biscuits, cranberry sauce, turkey & dressing. Are you drooling yet?

Generally, there tends to still be some meat left on that giant bird even after the meal is done and a few sandwiches have been built and devoured. Once the biscuits and dressing have disappeared, if there’s still meat on those bones, it’s time to think of something else. You’re probably getting anxious to have your refrigerator back and need a recipe that uses up every last part of that giant animal in there.

turkey soup with wild rice and dill | Brooklyn Homemaker

Enter soup. Soup is the perfect way to make the best use of what’s left of your leftovers. A few days after Thanksgiving you probably only have a little bit of meat left, and it’s probably starting to dry out. Once I tore into those bones with clean hands and started pulling things apart, I realized that I had more meat left than I thought. Most of it was dark meat, but once it was all pulled off the carcass there were probably about 3 to 4 loose cups of bite sized chunks. That made for a very respectable soup.

turkey soup with wild rice and dill | Brooklyn Homemaker

You’re going to have to get very comfortable getting your hands dirty and tearing through some old bones, but you’ll be very glad you went to the trouble once your hands are clean and you have a super flavorful stock bubbling away on the stove. Since Turkeys are so much larger than chickens, there are a lot more bones. There are a lot of nutrients and tons of protein in those bones that is really really good for you if you take the time to extract them. A Slow cooked stock made from bones is packed with calcium, magnesium and other minerals, as well as dissolved cartilage and connective tissue materials like chondroitin and glucosamine which are great for your joints and can help with arthritis. Homemade stock is also full of natural gelatin, which is great for your hair, teeth, nails, skin, bones, joints and stomach lining. Studies also show that gelatin can aid in digestion, help your body release toxins, and even can help you sleep better.

turkey soup with wild rice and dill | Brooklyn Homemaker

If you’ve ever noticed that the juices your turkey release after being carved sometime congeal into a wobbly brown gel on your platter or carving board, that’s gelatin in action. There is so much gelatin in this turkey stock that the finished soup congealed once refrigerated. This recipe made too much soup for Russell and I to eat in one evening, so some of it went into some tupperware to be reheated the next evening. When I took the soup out it had turned into a jiggly turkey soup jell-o. I had to turn the tupperware over and shake it until the whole soup slid out and plopped into the pan like a can of gelled cranberry sauce. (Don’t worry, it turns back to liquid when heated)

This may sound unappealing to some, but believe me, this is a good thing. That amount of gelatin in your soup not only means that you’re soup is packed with health benefits, but also makes for a soup with amazing flavor and a beautiful consomme-like viscosity. If you’re not sure what I mean, it’s not thick like gravy, but just somehow feels like it coats your mouth and tongue more completely than watery chicken broth. If you still don’t get it, just try it. You can thank me later. I prefer white or yellow roses over red.

turkey soup with wild rice and dill | Brooklyn Homemaker

So, after I went to all the trouble to make this amazing healthy and hearty stock, I wanted a simple soup that highlighted rather than masked the richness of the turkey. I decided to go for a straightforward chicken soup style recipe, with onions, carrot, and celery. Perfect compliments to poultry. I decided that I wanted to add the chewiness of wild rice to the soup rather than noodles. Russell is obsessed with wild rice, and it holds up better than traditional rice or noodles if there are leftovers. Wild rice is also packed with protein and is really good for you, so another bonus! Last, I decided to add some dill to the soup to give it a nice bright fresh flavor. With a soup made from leftovers that bubbled and boiled on the stove for hours, it would be easy for it to taste heavy and tired, but the addition of dill brightens and lightens the whole thing up, giving it new life. You would never taste this and think it was made from leftovers.

Not only is this soup fresh, healthy, hearty and delicious all at once, but it also helped me rid myself of the last of the Thanksgiving meal. Now the fridge is clean and un-stuffed, and I can start thinking ahead to…
Christmas! In just a few short weeks there will be Christmas dinner, Christmas cookies, Christmas parties, and Christmas cocktails!

turkey soup with wild rice and dill | Brooklyn Homemaker

Turkey Soup with Wild Rice and Dill

1 picked over turkey carcass, with just a bit of meat left
2 large onions
6 stalks celery
5 carrots
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 cup wild rice
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons finely chopped dill

With clean hands, pull all remaining meat off of your turkey, being careful to avoid any skin or bones. Tear meat into bite sized chunks and store in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. Place all bones and skin from the turkey into an 8 quart stockpot, breaking up the carcass to fit as needed. Roughly chop one onion (skin on), 2 stalks of celery (leaves on) and 2 carrots; and add to stockpot along with enough water to cover the turkey. If desired, add herbs like sage or thyme. Cover your pot, and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the pot is at a low boil, turn the heat down and let it simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool for an hour or until you’re comfortable handling it.

Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard the bones and set stock aside while you start your soup. Chop your remaining onion and celery into a medium dice, and slice your carrots into rounds. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in the bottom of a heavy bottomed stockpot, add your vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, until onions and celery are soft and translucent, and any liquid has cooked off. Add your wine and cook down until dry. Add the wild rice and brown for just a minute or two, stirring constantly. Strain the stock into the stockpot, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every so often. Add pulled turkey meat and half your chopped dill, and simmer for 15-20 minutes more. Just before serving stir in remaining chopped dill, taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

How we did Thanksgiving

I really love Thanksgiving. Like, a lot.

When I was younger Thanksgiving was always a holiday spent with family, sort of like Christmas but without the stress and running around, and with more pie. My Mother was the ultimate queen of holiday entertaining and this time of year our house was always filled with friends, family & food. Her Christmas party was usually the biggest deal of the year and she’d have giant bowls of shrimp cocktail, two different types of boozey homemade egg nog, countless nibbles and sweets, and trays of her famous taco dip. Sorry, now I’m drooling. These days I’m trying to follow in her footsteps.

Now that I’m older, and sell kitchenware for a living, I can’t get home for Thanksgiving anymore, so I’ve had to swap the family for friends. As much as I wish I could be home with family, spending Thanksgiving here in Brooklyn means that we can host in our own apartment, choose who our guests are, and make the food exactly the way we like it. No drunk uncles or soggy overcooked vegetables at this dinner, just good friends, great food, & lots of wine. Lots and lots of wine.

lattice crust deep dish apple pie | how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemakerlattice crust deep dish apple pie | how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemakerlattice crust deep dish apple pie | how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemaker

We live in a small two bedroom railroad apartment, (long and skinny with the only windows at either end) so we don’t have a dining room. We do have plenty of seating though, so we decided to serve our meal buffet style and pull some chairs up to the sofa and around the coffee table. Most of our friends love cooking almost as much as I do, so we decided to make our Thanksgiving meal a potluck and ask people to bring a dish with them.  Since we were hosting we decided that the turkey would be my responsibility. Since I tend to go overboard, I went overboard. The plan was to make the turkey, gravy & dressing, along with a pie or two. What actually went down was a little more involved.

The menu I prepared went like this:
turkey roasted with citrus herb butter
chardonnay turkey gravy
mushroom, leek & sourdough dressing
roasted butternut squash with honey and thyme
spiced orange cranberry sauce
flaky salt and pepper buttermilk biscuits
lattice top deep dish apple pie
sweet potato pie
wine, wine & wine

sweet potato pie | how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemakersweet potato pie | how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemaker

Since we have amazing friends with amazing taste, the other dishes that joined the party included:
braised red cabbage with apples and red wine
mashed potatoes with goat cheese and garlic
brussels sprouts sauteed with chestnuts, bacon and onions
rice salad with chickpeas and dried currants
pumpkin bundt cake with salted caramel icing
spicy cayenne apple pie
chocolate filled peanut butter cookies
homemade bourbon vanilla ice cream
On yeah, and more wine.

how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemaker

Doris, Betty & Russell waiting for guests to arrivedessert buffet | how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemaker

Needless to say I’m still full today. It was an amazing meal and I’m so lucky to have such wonderful friends to spend my holidays with. The turkey was probably the best I’ve ever tasted, and definitely the best I’ve ever made. Our dogs could not have been happier either. They were in heaven! Plenty of treats falling on the ground and plenty of laps to curl up on. A few of our guests were English and Irish, and this was the first Thanksgiving one of them had ever celebrated. We spent much of the evening talking about the differences in holiday traditions and foods across the world and making plenty of dirty jokes about fish pie. We played games and watched the muppets with Lady Gaga for the rest of the night.

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As much as I love tooting my own horn and being showered with compliments, I’m not just sharing all this with you to make you jealous. I also want you to know that even if you live in a small apartment and don’t have much family near you, you can still have an amazing Thanksgiving meal to remember. Of course how you organize your service and what your meal consists of is entirely up to you, but just in case you’d like to do something similar to what I did, I’m going to give you an idea of how I made it all happen.

dessert buffet | how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemaker

dessert buffet selfie

I happened to have the Tuesday before Thanksgiving off so I did all my grocery shopping Monday night after work and tried to do as much as possible on Tuesday so I’d have less to worry about on the big day.

3 days ahead (Monday)- I finalized the menu, went grocery shopping, & confirmed the guest list.

2 days ahead (Tuesday)- To get a head start on things that would need to be done the day of, I made a citrus and herb butter for the turkey, cubed and dried the bread for the dressing, peeled and cubed the butternut squash and put it covered into the refrigerator. I also went ahead and made my cranberry sauce, and both of my pies because I wouldn’t have time the next day. I also met Russell in Manhattan to stock up on the ever important wine.

how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemakerspiced orange cranberry sauce | how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemaker

1 day ahead (Wednesday)- I work in a kitchenware store so, as you can imagine, the day before Thanksgiving is a busy day. I worked a 12 hour day and was exhausted when I got home, so I tried to plan my schedule so I would have very little to do that night. I did pick up some flowers on my way home, and went ahead and washed, dried & seasoned the turkey with salt and pepper before putting her in the fridge to rest until the next morning.

roasted turkey with citrus herb butter | how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemaker

Thanksgiving day I slathered the turkey up with the citrus and herb butter and got her started in the oven. Then I started my mushroom, leek & sourdough dressing, covered it and put it into the fridge to wait until the turkey came out. Then Russell and I spent the rest of the morning calling family, cleaning the house and getting ready for our guests. I set up a buffet on our credenza-height bookshelf, and set up a dessert buffet on top of our bar cabinet. We decided to use some compostable bamboo disposable plates to save on dishes while still keeping it classy-ish. We got our wine chilling, seating in place, corkscrews and glassware out and ready, ice trays filled, and double checked to be sure we had everything we needed.

roasted butternut squash with honey and thyme | how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemaker"mushroom, leek & sourdough dressing | how we did Thanksgiving | Brooklyn Homemaker

Once our guests started arriving and the turkey came out of the oven, everything else went in while the turkey took a much needed rest. Gravy was made, biscuits rose, squash roasted, dressing browned, potatoes reheated and brussels sprouts sauteed in cast iron.

The rest of the night was spent enjoying ourselves and our food. I’ve said this already, but it was the best. Heaven.

Just for fun, here’s how I did the turkey. I usually brine but this year I decided to skip it. I’ve always felt like it’s a lot of work for a small payoff, so I thought I’d try another trick to ensure a moist bird. That’s right. I said moist.

Moist.

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Stealing some moist bird

Roasted Turkey with Citrus Herb Butter

  • Servings: Feeds many many people, depending on the size of your bird
  • Print

Citrus Herb Butter:
1 1/2 sticks of salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons brown sugar
zest of one large orange
zest of two lemons

Roasted Turkey:
1 15-20 lb fresh turkey *see note
citrus, herbs, onions and apples for filling
carrots, onions, celery and apples for roasting to flavor gravy

chicken or turkey stock

To make the flavored butter, mash all ingredients into the softened butter with a fork and mix until well combined. Place in an air tight container and refrigerate. Remove from fridge and soften for an hour or two before you’re ready to use it. If you forget to do this you can soften it in your hands.

If possible, wash the turkey and remove the gizzards and neck the night before Thanksgiving. Pat dry, inside and out, with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. If you can’t do this the night before, do at least one hour before the turkey goes into the oven. Cover with foil or a lid and move to the refrigerator. Hold onto the gizzards and neck for gravy.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Roughly chop a few pieces of celery, carrots, onions & apples and place in the bottom of a large roasting pan. You don’t need to peel the skin off the onion and you can use the leafy tops of the celery. Add a few sprigs of herbs and your reserved neck and gizzards, and add enough chicken or turkey stock to come about an inch up the side of the pan. Add a large V roasting rack to the pan.

Rub the softened citrus herb butter completely over your turkey on all sides and some on the inside cavity. Reserve a few tablespoons to reapply later. Place your butter covered turkey, breast side down, on your roasting rack. Fill the cavity of the turkey with roughly chopped citrus, apples, onions and herbs, or whatever flavors you’d like. Leave some room for air to circulate in the cavity or the turkey will take longer to cook and could dry out.

Transfer Turkey to the oven, uncovered, and roast for 3 1/2 hours basting every 30 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the turkey breast side up. They make special turkey lifters to make this easier, or you can use large rigid spatulas, or oven mitts covered in plastic bags. You might want an extra set of hands to keep the roasting pan steady or help out. Rub the remaining citrus herb butter on the breast side of the turkey and return to oven for 1 1/2 to 2 more hours, or until a meat thermometer placed in the thigh meat reads 165 degrees. Continue basting every 30 minutes until done. Your total roasting time will depend on the size of the bird. Closer to 15 pounds should take about 5 hours, 20 pounds more like 5 1/2 hours.

When the turkey is done, remove from oven and transfer from roasting rack to a large carving board. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 30 minutes, up to 45 or 50. Strain the juices from the pan and use for gravy, adding more stock if necessary. You can use this resting time to reheat or finish any remaining sides in the oven. Carve and serve your bird and brace yourself for a barrage of compliments. **See note.

*Note: I like to say you want your about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of turkey per person- this will ensure everyone is completely satisfied and you have some leftovers for sandwiches and something leftover to make soup or turkey pot pie.

**Note: This was the first time I’ve ever roasted a turkey breast side down- and I will never go back. It made for the moistest breast meat I’ve ever tasted, and the number of compliments made me a little uncomfortable. If you don’t handle compliments well, don’t use this recipe.