A Great Turkey

Jamie Oliver prepared a turkey very similar to this on television several years ago and I immediately made it. It turned out to be one of the best turkeys I have ever had, next to the one that got dropped on the ground and had to be rinsed off. For some reason, THAT one was the best ever, but I don’t suggest repeating that technique.


  • 14-16 lb Organic Turkey
  • 1 Orange
  • Stuffing (of your choice)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Cup Butter (room temperature)
  • 4-5 Sage Leaves
  • 2-3 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 1 Nutmeg Seed
  • 1 Cup Dried Cranberries (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Large Roasting Pan
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Fine Grater
  • Aluminum Foil
  1. If you are having a frozen turkey allow to defrost completely.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450.
  3. Wash and pat dry the turkey, removing any extras in the cavity (for the uninitiated, the slaughter house includes the extra parts in a bag in the cavity. They include the giblets, neck, etc)
  4. Salt and pepper the bird inside and out.
  5. Finely chop the sage and rosemary together.
  6. In the mixing bowl, combine the butter with the herbs.
  7. Grate a good amount of nutmeg and  the zest of one orange.
  8. If you like, add dried cranberries.
  9. Mix all together.
  10. Carefully slip your fingers under the skin of the turkey starting at the neck. On each side, gently and evenly slide the butter mixture under the skin and try to evenly distribute. Take your time and work it under as much of the skin as possible.
  11. Spread the rest of the butter mixture (if any) on the exterior.
  12. Stuff the bird with your choice of stuffing. If you are not using a stuffing, place a halved lemon, the orange that you zested and some additional herbs in the cavity.
  13. Place the turkey in a roasting pan. A disposable one will do.
  14. Cover with aluminum foil.
  15. Turn the oven down to 350 and place the turkey in the center.
  16. Roast for 16-18 minutes per pound.
  17. Remove the cover in the last hour or more, depending on how crispy you like the skin.
  18. The bird is done when the liquid from a cut in the part between the leg and the body runs clear. A thermometer inserted into a meaty bit should read 165.
  19. Remove the bird and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
  20. Remove the stuffing.
  21. Let the bird sit for another 20 minutes then carve and serve.

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