Features Turkey Tips

Turkey Tips
Butter Basted Roast Turkey
Bradley Ogden, The Lark Creek Inn-Larkspur, CA
Adapted by StarChefs

Historically, cooks all over America have baked their stuffing inside the bird as a way of imparting its delicious juices and flavors. But, it's practically an art form to get the stuffing up to temperature without over cooking the turkey. In the past few years, this practice has fallen out of favor as people have become more aware of illnesses associated with improperly cooked food. If the idea of cooking your stuffing and turkey separately is out of the question for you, then this recipe is certainly worth a try. Get yourself a good quality thermometer that you can calibrate (it should come with instructions on how to do this) and use it. It's very important that you loosely fill the turkey with stuffing, or you'll be waiting all week to get it to the proper temperature. It's better to cook extra stuffing outside the bird, and have a happy (and healthy) holiday. .......................................................................................................--SC

Yield: 5 - 8 Servings

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 16 leaves fresh sage, lightly crushed
  • 1 (12-pound) fresh young turkey
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Corn & Sage Stuffing - see accompanying recipe
  • Giblet Gravy - see accompanying recipe

Preheat the oven to 450º F.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter and sage. Heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Reserve turkey gizzards for use in a turkey stock. Reserve giblets, neck and wing tips for gravy. Rinse the turkey in cold water and pat dry thoroughly. Brush the cavity with the sage butter and season with salt and pepper. Lightly fill the cavity of the turkey with the stuffing and truss.

Place the turkey breast-side down on a lightly oiled rack in a roasting pan and season the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper. Baste with sage butter and roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn the turkey breast side up, baste again with sage butter, and continue roasting for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 300º F and continue cooking, basting every 20 minutes with the sage butter. Roast until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 170º F when tested in the thickest part of the thigh.

Serve slices of turkey with stuffing and gravy.