The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey

by Heather on November 10, 2011

‘Twas but 3 years ago that I made a whole turkey for the first time.  And even then, as I did this year, I left the giblets in on accident.

I mean really, who can every find the giblets anyway?!  I promised I searched high and low for them and found nary a giblet bag to remove, so I just figured it was one of those giblet-free turkeys (just go with me on this) and called it a day.


Come carving time the turkey told me a different story and Nate made sure to ask me if this wasn’t the 3rd time that I’ve done that in the past few years.  How is he keeping track of these things?  No clue…but apparently he is.


Noted, sweetie!

This turkey is pretty much the same as the turkey breast that I made a few weeks ago, but better because it has the dark meat too.  I used to SWEAR ON MY LIFE that I didn’t like dark meat.  I thought it was gross.  And looking back now I don’t know why…maybe it was because the grown-ups liked the dark meat so of course it had to be gross.  I mean, they liked onions and peppers too…their palates were not to be trusted.


Now that I’m a ripe ol’ 28 years old I can say that I go straight for the dark stuff all the time.  I guess that means I’m officially a grown-up…you know, because the pregnancy and job and health insurance and owning a house and being married didn’t solidify that before.

There is one addition that I made to this turkey after reading Amy’s mayonnaise-roasted turkey post – and that is indeed some mayo to go along with the butter.  I never promised health food on here y’all, especially not for Thanksgiving!  See, many moons ago we would travel to California in the dead of summer to visit my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins and would always have Thanksgiving dinner on one of those days since we never had the ability to make that trip around the actual holidays.  My uncle at the time would slather a turkey in mayo and roast it, which I thought was disgusting.  And then I ate the turkey and my life changed.


I still don’t love mayo, but it will change that turkey’s life, you hear me?!

So let’s see – we now have butter, mayonnaise, fresh spices, gobs of salt and pepper…what else could you possibly need?  I like mine alongside some of Mom’s best stuffing and green beans (I steamed mine – I can eat turkey before Thanksgiving but I just can’t bring myself to do the green bean casserole yet).  Oh, and definitely some cranberry sauce.  OH!  And, under normal circumstances, a brie en croute appetizer with a great white wine.


Is anyone else hungry now?  Let’s eat!


  • 1 11-14 lb turkey, completely thawed (100%, all the way thawed), giblets and neck removed
  • 1 stick butter, completely at room temperature
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 3 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • salt and pepper (lots of it)
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 lemon

Preheat your oven to 350.  In a bowl mix together the butter, mayonnaise, sage, thyme, and rosemary.  With your fingers separate the skin of the turkey from the breast meat…it’s not as hard as it seems, it just takes a little while.  Be patient because it’s worth it!  Before the bird gets down and dirty, cut the carrots, onions and lemon into wedges and stuff inside the cavity of the turkey.  Once you’ve done that, dig into the butter/mayo mixture and slather it all over the skin of the turkey and underneath the skin on the breast, making sure you use all of it.  Wash your hands rigorously and then GENEROUSLY sprinkle the entire bird with salt and pepper (I used about 3 Tbsp of salt and probably 1 Tbsp of pepper).  It seems like a lot, but you’re seasoning the entire bird and not every piece is going to have skin on it.


Put the turkey in a roasting pan and roast in the oven at 350 for 2-3 hours until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove from the oven and cover with foil to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.



Simple, no-holds barred turkey is where it’s at y’all…and now I’m sad that we have to wait a few more weeks til the rest of the meal can come out to play!



Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

Previous post:

Next post: