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Sweet Daddy D's Herb Roasted Turkey

A dry brine and a liberal application of a herb-butter paste will result in a tender and juicy bird. So good, you won't want to just eat turkey on Thanksgiving.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: roast turkey
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 658kcal
Author: Sweet Daddy D

Here's What You Need

  • 12-14 pound fresh turkey

Dry Brine

  • cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons dry oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dry basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dry thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons ground fresh black pepper
  • 10 cloves garlic pressed

Herb Butter Paste

  • 2 sticks Butter very soft but not melted
  • 5-6 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 tablespoon each of these FRESH herbs chopped fine: use more or less of each according to your taste
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Tarragon
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage

To Stuff the Cavity

  • 1 quartered Apple
  • 1 quartered yellow onion
  • 1 quartered orange
  • 1 head garlic sliced in half
  • Sprigs Fresh Herb tied together

Here's What You Do

Dry Brining

  • Mix the Dry Brine ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Remove giblets from inside turkey and reserve for another use. Rinse turkey inside and out and dry very well with paper towels.
  • Liberally coat turkey inside and outside with dry brine; place the bird on a rack over a baking pan and refrigerate uncovered for 12 - 14 hours (1 hour per lbs)
  • Rinse off the dry brine thoroughly inside and out; dry the bird with paper towels; place back on the rack over the baking pan and store again in refrigerator uncovered for 4 to 6 hours or longer if possible. (This helps to dry off the skin which will help make the skin crispy when roasted).

Prepping the BIrd

  • While the bird is sitting in the fridge, mix all the Herb-Butter Paste ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. The butter should be very soft, but not totally melted. Tie the fresh herb sprigs left over from the Herb Butter Paste (fresh sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon and basil) together with butcher twine and set aside. Cut the apple, orange, yellow onion and garlic into the proper sizes.
  • Remove the turkey from the refrigerator.
  • Prepare the cavity first before moving to the outside: Rub inside the cavity liberally with Herb-Butter Paste, then stuff the cavity with herbs, fruit and veggies:
  • Place the tied herbs deep in the cavity and follow with as much of the apple, orange, yellow onion quarters and garlic halves as possible. Depending on the size of the bird and the cavity, this may not all fit.
  • To loosen the skin on the turkey, slide your fingers under the skin, moving your fingers deeper under the skin while you hold the skin with the other hand. Spread the Herb Butter Paste underneath the loosened skin as much as possible, then rub the Herb Butter Paste all over outside (top and bottom) of the bird. Leave as thick of a coating as you can on top of bird.


  • Preheat oven 325 degrees
  • Spray a roasting rack and roasting pan with nonstick spray. Place the buttered bird on the roasting rack set in the roasting pan.
  • Roast at 325 deg for about 3 to 3 ½ hours, until breast temp is 160-165; thigh 170-175 degrees. Cover with foil if browning too much or when it is golden brown.


Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 104g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 344mg | Sodium: 7153mg | Potassium: 1139mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 663IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 5mg

This recipe came from First...You Have a Beer (www.firstyouhaveabeer.com). If you like it, please leave a 5 star rating and a comment on the site and, most importantly, SHARE it with your friends.