Herb-Butter Roast Turkey

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 120 minutes
Servings: 14

This turkey gets a double dose of flavor: first it’s soaked in a seasoned saltwater brine, then the bird is brushed with an herb butter as it roasts.


  • 1 jar (1 lb. 2.2 oz.) turkey brine
  • 1 fresh turkey, 16 to 18 lb., neck and giblets removed
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 Tbs. roasted garlic
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbs. chopped green onion, white and light green portions
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper


Prepare the brine according to the package instructions for a whole turkey. Let cool to room temperature.

Place the turkey in a brining bag and pour in the brine. Using the sealing clip, seal the bag securely; for added stability, place the bag in a pot or on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.

Remove the turkey from the brine; discard the brine. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Truss the turkey as desired using kitchen twine. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

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

In a small bowl, stir together the butter, roasted garlic, shallot, mustard, honey, parsley, thyme, green onion, sage and pepper until well combined. Set aside.

Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Continue roasting, brushing the turkey with the herb butter every 20 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, away from the bone, registers 165°F and into the thigh registers 175°F, 1 1/2 to 2 hours more.

Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Serves 12 to 14.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

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