The Thanksgiving Table with Herb Buttered Turkey

Story by Holly
The Thanksgiving Table with Herb Buttered Turkey
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Two years ago I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. It was a small gathering consisting of my husband and I, our two young children (who were asleep during meal time), my in-laws and my father. It was the first and only time I have felt completely prepared for a holiday meal. I spent hours working on the table setting, which is one my favorite parts of any holiday celebration, and countless nights perfecting the menu. It all came together beautifully, but looking back I have one regret: with so few mouths to feed, I thought I would make an individual cornish hen for each person. I didn't think a large turkey was necessary. Boy was I wrong. While the cornish hens tasted delicious, it just wasn’t the same as having a gorgeous turkey as the cornerstone of the meal.


I am confident that will no longer be the case once this recipe is used, as it produces a moist and flavorful bird beyond what you may have thought possible.

The Thanksgiving Table with Herb Buttered Turkey

I should’ve known that no Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without the signature bird. No matter what else is on the table, if you don’t have a turkey it just won't feel the same. So I've come to the conclusion that if the turkey is a requirement, it should be the best dang turkey possible. This year we are leaning on the help of our friend, amazing florist, cook and creative Daisy Bozas, who shared with us her tried and true turkey recipe. It is to die for and will surely be the star of your holiday meal this year.

The Thanksgiving Table with Herb Buttered Turkey
The Thanksgiving Table with Herb Buttered Turkey

We wanted to test all of our Thanksgiving recipes together on one table and have the opportunity to take pretty photos of our new buffalo check linens at the same time, so we headed to Daisy’s lovely homestead where our side dishes joined her incredible turkey, and our table styling met with her gorgeous floral design. The entire meal was gluten free, something we know is important to Daisy’s family and many of our readers as well, and we were and are so excited to present a delicious spread that EVERYONE can enjoy.

The Thanksgiving Table with Herb Buttered Turkey

Before heading to Daisy’s we checked the weather app and moved the date around to make sure we had a nice clear day to photograph outside on her deck. Well, we live in the NW and November weather can be a bit unpredictable. Needless to say we were soaked to the bone by the time we sat down to eat. We pushed through the type of immediate frustration that comes from scenarios such as this and ended up laughing a lot (what choice did we have?). In the end, we moved the meal inside to the comfort and warmth of Daisy’s home and despite the setbacks, the meal did not disappoint.

While I think it's safe to say many people think the turkey is a must at Thanksgiving, I am often surprised by just how many people I've heard say they don't actually care for it. I am confident that will no longer be the case once this recipe is used, as it produces a moist and flavorful bird beyond what you may have thought possible. If you are gluten free, be on the lookout for the other recipes we have coming up for Thanksgiving and watch for our new buffalo check linens in our Etsy shop. Happy feasting!

The Thanksgiving Table with Herb Buttered Turkey

The Thanksgiving Table with Herb Buttered Turkey

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 15 lb turkey, thawed
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2/3 large white onion
2 clementines
4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
4 large carrots, roughly chopped
1 garlic head, cut in half
1 cup water
3 tbsp fresh chopped sage, plus extra whole leaves for garnishing

Dry Brine

1/3 cup kosher salt
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika

Method

  1. Using your hands, gently pull the skin up away from the breast just enough to fit your hand. Grab 2 tbsp of the butter and begin to coat the bird under the skin. Keep repeating this process until the bird is coated between the skin and breast.
  2. In a small bowl combine all ingredients for the dry brine. Rub the bird with the mixture inside and out and allow to sit uncovered overnight in your refrigerator.
  3. Wash your bird in cold water and dry completely. Allow to rest for one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 450°.
  5. In a small sauce pan, over low heat, melt remaining butter with fresh sage and keep warm until use.
  6. Squeeze the clementines over the bird. Stuff the inside of the bird with half of the carrots, half of the onion, half of the celery and the squeezed clementine rinds.
  7. Rub the bird down, inside and out, with the melted herb butter.
  8. In the bottom of a large roasting pan arrange the remaining aromatics, (celery, carrots, onions and garlic ends) along with 1 cup of water to keep the drippings from burning.
  9. Tuck the wings in the legs and then tress the legs to assure the breasts don’t dry out. Set your bird on a rack in the pan.
  10. Roast the bird at 450° for 30 minutes. After it has been in the oven for 30 minutes at 450° take a large pieces of foil create a tent to gently cover breasts (here is a great example of what that looks like), leaving legs and thighs exposed. Reduce to 325° to continue roasting. Allow 15 minutes per lb. Remove foil for the last 45 minutes.
  11. Your bird is done when the internal temperature reads 160° with an instant read thermometer. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
  12. Garnish with leftover sage and any other herbs you have on hand.