Roast Turkey with Tarragon-Shallot Butter

  • Yield : 8-10
  • Cook Time : 15m
  • Ready In : 45m
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  • One 10- to 12-pound turkey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 parsley sprigs
  • 2 lemons, quartered


Step 1

Let the turkey sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Step 2

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 3

Remove the packet of neck and giblets from the turkey and set aside. Cut away any fatty pieces near the cavity or neck and discard. Pat the turkey dry inside and out with paper towels and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper inside and out.

Step 4

Combine the butter, tarragon, lemon juice, shallot, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl with a rubber spatula. Loosen the skin over the turkey breast and push half of the butter mixture under the skin and over the breast meat. Rub the skin with the rest of the butter mixture. Stuff the cavity with the parsley and lemons. Tie the legs together with twine. Tuck the wings under the body and put the turkey breast-side up on a rack in a roasting pan.

Step 5

Roast until the turkey begins to turn golden, about 25 minutes. Loosely tent the breast with foil, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Continue roasting, basting with pan drippings every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh joint reaches about 155 degrees F. Remove the foil and continue roasting until it reaches 165 degrees F, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer the turkey and rack to a cutting board and let rest about 30 minutes.

Step 6

Discard the parsley and lemons from the cavity before carving.

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