The Barefoot Contessa’s Perfect Roast Turkey!



Susan here – sorry I have been gone so long.  The kids have started back to school and I have been busy finishing my third novel.  I have really been needing some easy meals that would make wonderful leftovers.  I know it isn’t Thanksgiving yet, but trust me when I say it is time to roast a turkey!  This was the first one I had ever tried on my own, and if I can do it, you can too.   This turkey was moist and gently flavored and beautiful. The house smells fabulous while the turkey is roasting, plus you have enough food to invite your friends and family to dinner.  What more could you ask for? 



–         1 stick of unsalted butter

–         1 lemon, zested and juiced

–         1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

–         1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 pounds)

–         Kosher salt

–         Freshly ground black pepper

–         1 large bunch of fresh thyme

–         1 whole lemon, halved

–         1 Spanish onion, quartered

–         1 head garlic, halved crosswise





Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and 1 teaspoon of the thyme leaves to the butter mixture.  Set aside.

Take the giblets out of the turkey (don’t forget whatever it is that is stuffed in the front  – I did.)  Wash the turkey inside and out.  Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry.  Place the turkey in a large roasting pan.  Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity.  Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, quartered onion, and garlic.  Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

Roast the turkey about 2 ½ hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh (I used a meat thermometer to double check for doneness).  Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving to grateful friends.


I found the recipe on the Food Network Website:



2 responses to “The Barefoot Contessa’s Perfect Roast Turkey!

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