Herb Roasted Turkey.
No, it is not Thanksgiving or Christmas… this is the meal that my dear sweet mother requested for Mother’s Day!
I asked her what meal she considered to be a special treat and she responded, “a roast turkey dinner with mashed potatoes.” Growing up, her family only had turkey at Christmas, and she wished that she could have had it for her May 15th birthday as well. Since mashed potatoes are her favourite food (year-round), they were a must have.
To lighten the meal up from a traditional holiday turkey dinner, we skipped the dressing/stuffing, avoided the cranberry sauce, and freshened up the flavour with five herbs including cilantro.
Sides of roasted carrots, potatoes, brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes plus homemade gravy, brioche dinner rolls and a chilled rosé, rounded out the meal.
Watch the process video here
Some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes – appetizers, sides & dessert.
- Antipasto Skewers
- Charcutterie with Warm Olives with Rosemary & Clementine Peel
- Sous-Vide Colossal Shrimp Cocktail (with a Spicy Avocado Crema)
- Ginger-Jalapeño-Cranberry Sauce
- Homemade Gravy
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Pancetta
- Savoury Bread Pudding with Apples & Kale
- Mini Stuffed Pumpkins with Wild Rice
- Roasted Garlic-Sour Cream & Chive Mashed Potatoes
- Ambrosia Apple Pie
- Wood-Fired Sweet Potato Casserole
- Crockpot™ Slow Cooker Cider Poached Pears
Tried this recipe?
If you get the chance to try this recipe, please drop back and leave us comment and rating. We would love to know what you think.
Cheers! James and Elaine
Herb Roasted Turkey
- 1 13-pound whole fresh young turkey, neck & giblets removed and reserved
- ½ stick unsalted butter slightly softened
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 large carrots cut in half lengthwise
- 2-3 large stalks celery
- 3 cups no salt added chicken stock
Turkey neck stock for gravy:
- 1 Turkey neck
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 carrot cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 celery stalk cut into 2 -inch pieces
- 1 small onion roughly chopped
- 6 cups of no salt added chicken stock
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 3 to 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tablespoon black peppercorns
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 4-5 cups warm turkey neck stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the turkey:
- Pat the turkey dry inside and out. Season it liberally with salt. Place on a rack over a sheet pan and place in the fridge uncovered for 12 to 24 hours.
- Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting.
- Combine the butter, olive oil, cilantro, sage, rosemary, thyme, and chives in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 430°F convection roast (or 450°F no convection).
- Put the 3 cups of the chicken stock in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
- Using a wooden spoon or your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the breast of the turkey (careful not to rip the skin). Rub the breast meat (under the skin) with the herb butter mixture (approximately 1.5 tablespoons/breast). Then use the remaining herb butter to rub the entire exterior of the turkey.
- Place the carrots & celery on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables, and place in the preheated oven. Roast until lightly golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 335°F convection roast (or 350°F no convection). Continue roasting, basting with the warm chicken stock every 25 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165°F, about 1½ to 2 hours additional.
- Remove the turkey from the oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 30 minutes before slicing.
- Note: If you are making the garlic mashed potatoes, put the garlic in the oven the same time as the turkey.
For the turkey neck stock:
- While the turkey cooks, add the olive oil to medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Add the turkey neck and brown both sides (2 to 3 minutes/side). Add the carrots, celery, onions, season with salt, cover and let steam for 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the turkey neck bits off the bottom of the pan, add the stocks to the pan bring to a boil. Add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorn, lower the heat and let simmer uncovered, over low heat for 60 minutes. Strain and keep the stock warm while you make the gravy. Yields 4 to 5 cups of strained stock.
For the gravy:
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the warm turkey neck stock, one cup at a time, stirring frequently for 30 to 60 seconds between cups, until the all the warm stock has been added. Cook until thickened and smooth, about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Keep warm until ready to serve.
Looking for different ways to cook turkey?
Here are a few other recipes:
- Herb Roasted Turkey. We love turkey all year round! To lighten the meal up from a traditional holiday turkey dinner, we skipped the dressing/stuffing, avoided the cranberry sauce, and freshened up the flavour with five herbs including cilantro.
- Wood-Fired Turkey Breasts with Ginger-Jalapeño-Cranberry Sauce. A turkey breast (or two) is the perfect way to prepare a traditional turkey dinner for a smaller holiday gathering… but once you try this moist, tender, flavour packed turkey with subtle notes of smokiness, paired with the bold, bright, refreshing flavours of the ginger-jalapeno-cranberry sauce, you will not be waiting for a special occasion to make it again!
- Dry-Brined & Grilled Turkey Dry brining and grilling a turkey produce amazing flavour, crispy skin, and juicy meat. Not only does grilling a turkey taste amazing, but it also frees up space in the oven during the holidays!
- Moist and Juicy Roasted Turkey (and Gravy) Truth be told, I’m not always as planned and thoughtful as required, to get an early jump on brining the bird. My shortcut recipe is to dry rub the bird and put it in the fridge uncovered (on a rack, over a sheet pan) for about an hour. From the fridge, it goes straight into the convection oven at 390°F for 20 minutes to really dry the skin.
- Leftover Turkey Pot Pie Perfect when made ahead and reheated for a quick weeknight meal or incredible when prepared following a day full of winter adventures… and nothing beats the smell of a pie baking in the oven.