Even though Turkey Sugar Cookies and Herb Roasted Turkey are two very different things, I decided to combine these two recipes into one post since Thanksgiving is over and everyone is probably in Christmas-mode by now. I made both the cookies and herb roasted turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner last week.
Turkey-Shaped Sugar Cookies
For the cookies and royal icing, I used the same recipes I always use, which can be found by clicking here. I have tried a lot of sugar cookie recipes over the years and this one is my favorite. The cookies always taste delicious and the dough never spreads when it bakes, so the cookies perfectly hold the shape of the cookie cutter. These cookies were fairly easy (and fun!) to decorate too. All you need is a few #2 decorating tips, piping bags, squeeze bottles, and royal icing that has been tinted black, brown, red, orange, and yellow. If you would like to see how to decorate these cookies and create the feather details, click here to see Bridget’s tutorial on her blog, Bake at 350.
Source: Bake at 350 blog
Herb Roasted Turkey
Since this was the first turkey I’ve ever cooked, I spent some time researching different recipes. I ended up narrowing it down to 3 recipes, but all of them seemed to be missing something. So I took the parts I liked from each recipe and combined them to make my own turkey recipe. I’m very happy with how it turned out and I will definitely use this recipe again! It was a simple recipe too – basically I just stuffed the turkey with lots of fresh herbs, vegetables, and a few orange wedges (to keep the turkey juicy). I also rubbed the turkey with herb butter to add an extra layer of flavor. Additionally, I added some vegetables and chicken broth to the roasting pan to flavor what would become the gravy.
I decided not to brine the turkey because logistically, I don’t think it would have worked. There wouldn’t have been enough space to store it in our fridge, and since we were hosting Thanksgiving for 19 people, we needed a fairly large turkey. We went with a 22-pound bird, which provided us with lots of yummy leftovers! This is a great recipe for a flavorful, juicy, herb-roasted turkey. Enjoy!
Herb Roasted Turkey
For the Turkey & Roasting Pan:
- 6 ribs celery, largely chopped & divided
- 6 carrots, largely chopped & divided
- 2 onions, cut into wedges & divided
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 orange, cut into 8 wedges
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 6 sage leaves
- 1 whole turkey, 18-22 pounds, thawed
For the Herb Butter:
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ Tbsp. each chopped fresh thyme, sage, & rosemary
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F and set oven rack to lower position. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and discard. Rinse the turkey well and pat dry with paper towels. Set the turkey on a large baking sheet.
- Line a roasting pan with half of the celery, carrots, & onion wedges. Add 2 cups chicken broth (this will help keep the turkey moist and add flavor to the juices for the gravy). Place a roasting rack on top of the vegetables & set aside.
- Stuff the turkey with salt & pepper, half of the onion wedges, celery, carrots, thyme & rosemary sprigs, sage leaves, & orange wedges. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
- For the herb butter: Process the softened butter, thyme, sage, rosemary, and salt in a mini food processor. Rub the turkey all over with the herb butter, making sure to reach the crevices of the legs and wings.
- Insert a meat thermometer into the center of one of the inside thigh muscles, but not touching the bone. Transfer the turkey to the roasting rack, breast side up. Roast the turkey for 2 hours, occasionally checking on it to make sure it doesn’t brown too much or burn. Once the turkey is golden brown (this should take approximately 2 hours) tent it loosely with foil (make sure to leave air space between the bird and foil). If the vegetables begin to scorch, add some additional chicken broth to the pan. Continue roasting the turkey until the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 F. (Our 22 pound bird roasted for approximately 6 hours until it was done).
- If desired, baste the turkey every 30 minutes with pan juices. (Basting helps keep the skin moist & helps it to brown—I did not baste my turkey.)
- Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a cutting board set on a jelly roll pan, tent it with foil, and allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes before carving. Carve the turkey, arrange on a platter, and garnish as desired.
- Strain the pan drippings into a large glass measuring cup & reserve them for the gravy.
Source: Inspired by recipes from Real Simple, Sur La Table, & Cuisine at Home