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Brown Butter Sage Roasted Turkey

Brown butter, sage and classic aromatics give this turkey a deeply satisfying flavor that compliments all the essential Thanksgiving dishes. A herbaceous and nutty brown butter paste balanced with sweet citrus is massaged under the bird’s skin, which helps keep the breast meat moist and full of flavor. The stuffing and drippings in the pan below create a deliciously steamy environment while it roasts, giving us the perfect bird: Crispy skin, tender meat, sweet and savory drippings that make for excellent gravy. This is our taste-tested, best Thanksgiving turkey recipe ever! It has all the classic Thanksgiving flavors you love, and turns out perfectly cooked every time.

Brown Butter & Sage Roasted Turkey
  • 8 Servings
  • 1 hr Prep Time
  • 4 hrs Total Time


For Turkey

  • 12-18 lbs. Frozen Young Turkey, giblets removed
  • Butter Paste Rub
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 shallots or 1 onion
  • 1-2 apples, sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • For Garnish: Fresh sage leaves, fresh rosemary, pomegranate seeds or cranberries
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper

For Sage Brown Butter

  • 1/4 cup (about 15) fresh sage leaves, pat dry if damp
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed or chopped

For Butter Paste Rub

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp. orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Step 1

    Prep turkey: Thaw turkey in refrigerator overnight. Allow one day of thawing in the refrigerator for every four pounds of bird. Once fully thawed, remove the turkey from its bag and pat it dry with paper towels. Remove the bag containing the neck and innards from the cavity (reserve for stock or gravy if you’d like).
  • Step 2

    Make Brown Butter: In a medium saucepan set over low-medium heat, melt 1 stick (8 tbsp) of butter. When the butter begins to get just slightly bubbly, add 1 smashed garlic clove. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly, about 4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of fresh sage and shallots. Continue to cook on low heat until the color goes from golden-tan to a toasty-brown, about 8 minutes total. Pour butter into medium bowl and let cool.
  • Step 3

    Make Butter Paste Rub: Add all ingredients to a food processor until combined into a paste.
  • Step 4

    Marinate & Season: Rub butter paste all over the turkey, inside the skin and out. Starting at neck end of turkey, loosen the skin of the breast, legs and thighs by gently sliding your fingers underneath. Work a little over half of sage butter paste under turkey skin. Rub the rest of the butter over the skin of the turkey and season with a little more salt and pepper.
  • Step 5

    Stuff turkey with aromatics like lemon wedges, sliced onion, shallots, garlic, apples, carrots, and any extra herbs you have.
  • Step 6

    Transfer turkey, breast side down to a prepared roasting pan with a rack and refrigerate overnight.
  • Step 7

    Cook Turkey: Let turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Arrange oven rack so that your turkey will fit inside, and preheat oven to 375° F. In the bottom of the roasting pan, below the rack with the turkey; pour 1/2 cup white cooking wine, and evenly distribute more aromatics into the bottom of the pan: sliced onion, shallots, garlic, apples, carrots, celery.
  • Step 8

    Transfer pan to the oven and roast 45 minutes - 1 hour, until skin starts to brown. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the bird reaches a temperature of 165°F, about 2 hours. Transfer to a cutting board or platter and allow to rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
  • Step 9

    Garnish & Plating: Carve your turkey, leaving the skin on. Choose a serving platter is large enough and can support the weight and amount of your turkey. Garnish with flavors used to season your turkey + some pops of color. Our recommendations for this recipe are: fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme), sliced citrus (lemons, oranges), fruit (apples, pomegranate seeds, cranberries).

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