¾ cup (175 mL) butter
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp/5mL dried sage)
Zest of one lemon
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
½ clove garlic, finely minced (optional)
One 10-15 lb (4.5-6.75 kg) turkey
1 small onion, or large shallot, cut into chunks
3 sprigs fresh sage
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
2. Beat together butter, sage, lemon zest, salt, pepper and minced garlic until well combined.
3. Loosen skin on turkey breasts and thighs by gently pushing fingers between skin and meat, taking care not to tear skin.
4. Using about 1 tbsp (15 mL) of lemon sage butter at a time, gently push butter under turkey skin until butter is all used up. Pat turkey to distribute butter as evenly as possible.
5. Heat onion, lemon and sage sprigs in microwave on high for 1 minute; stuff into body cavity of turkey.
6. Tie turkey legs together with butcher string; tuck wing tips beneath turkey.
7. Place turkey on roasting rack; roast, uncovered, until turkey is completely cooked, about 3 hours or until instant-read meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast shows 170ºF (75ºC). It is not necessary to baste this turkey.
8. Remove from oven. Tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. (This step is essential for a juicy turkey; carving a turkey too early can result in drier meat, especially breast meat.)
9. Note: Individual variations in oven temperature may mean your turkey cooks faster or slower than suggested in the recipe. Trust the internal temperature of the meat more than your oven setting.
10. Tip: Preheating the aromatics helps them begin to immediately start infusing their flavours as the turkey roasts.