Tenting the turkey with foil during the first part of cooking is key. This keeps the lean breast meat juicy until the dark-meat thighs are done. Just as important, use a meat thermometer. Don’t rely on a pop-up timer that comes in the turkey—it often pops up too late.
- 30 min.
- 3.5 hrs.
- 12 - 14
- Grate lemon for 1 teaspoon zest. Quarter lemon for cavity. Set aside. For herb butter, in a bowl combine butter, shallot, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, salt and black pepper. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove neck and giblets from turkey; discard. Sprinkle turkey cavity with salt and pepper; stuff with lemon and garlic. Tie drumsticks together with 100-percent-cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under back. Slip your fingers between the skin and meat on breast to loosen skin. Reserving half of the herb butter, lift skin and rub remaining herb butter under skin from front to back of the turkey.
- Place turkey breast-side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil. Insert an ovenproof thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle. Thermometer should not touch bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil.
- Roast turkey for 2½ hours. Remove foil; cut kitchen string between drumsticks so thighs cook evenly. Melt remaining herb butter; stir in honey. Brush mixture onto turkey. Continue roasting 1 hour more or until internal temperature of innermost part of thigh, the wing and thickest part of breast is 165°F and turkey is no longer pink. Juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.
- Remove turkey from oven. Cover with foil; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with additional fresh herbs and lemons, if desired.