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Roast Turkey with Orange-Herb Butter

Roast Turkey with Orange-Herb Butter
Butter blended with orange zest and herbs is rubbed under the skin and on the outside of the turkey. This helps the meat stay moist and infuses the bird with delicious flavor.


  • 1 fresh turkey, about 16 lb., neck, heart and
      gizzard removed (reserved, if desired)
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room
  • 2 Tbs. Williams-Sonoma Turkey Herbs
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper


Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, beat the butter, herbs, orange zest, salt and pepper until well blended. Set aside.

Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard excess fat.

Gently slide your fingers under the breast to loosen the skin and work your fingers down to the thigh, being careful not to tear the skin. Spread one-third of the butter mixture evenly under the skin. Spread one-third of the mixture inside the body cavity, then spread the remaining mixture evenly on the outside of the turkey. Truss the turkey if desired using kitchen twine.

Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325°F and continue roasting, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices. After about 2 1/2 hours of total roasting time, begin testing for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and thigh, away from the bone. The breast should register 165°F and the thigh, 175°F. If the breast begins to cook too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. Total roasting time should be 3 to 3 3/4 hours.

Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Serves 12.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.