Susan's Perfect Roast Turkey

Main Course

Recipe courtesy of Susan Ford, Publisher Louisiana Kitchen & Culture

Serves a crowd


  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2-3 stalks celery, cleaned and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • basic turkey stock, as needed (recipe here)

Perfect Roasted Turkey

Roasted Turkey

Click image to enlarge.


Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Position your oven rack in the lowest position. Place your turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan. Generously sprinkle internal cavities with salt and pepper.

Mix butter, sage, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Using a sharp knife, cut small slits in the turkey skin over the breast and legs and gently push herbed butter beneath the skin. Fill cavities with onion and celery, and sprinkle outside of bird with salt and pepper. Tightly cover breast with foil. Place roasting pan on lower rack of preheated oven, and add two cups turkey stock to the bottom of the pan.

Roast, basting all over with pan drippings every 30 minutes, replenishing with turkey stock as needed, until quick-read thermometer reads 180ºF in the thickest part of the thigh. Remove foil for last hour of roasting.

Remove turkey to a large serving platter and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving. Reserve roasting pan and drippings for gravy.

Wondering how to carve you turkey. Here is our recent Thanksgiving turkey carving with photos to help you deliver the perfectly carved platter of turkey,

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