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Rosemary Garlic Roast Turkey

Rosemary Garlic Roast Turkey

If Italians had invented roast turkey, it would turn out something like this. Wonderfully fragrant with garlic and rosemary, this savory roast turkey makes an impressive holiday feast that's sure to wow your guests.

by Stella Zedman

What you'll need


  • 12 to 15 lb whole turkey, fully defrosted if frozen
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 tablespoons dried)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Rosemary-Garlic Gravy

  • 1/4 cup at from the roasting pan
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups defatted turkey pan juices, turkey broth, water, or a combination


Serves 12-18

How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. In a small bowl or food processor, mash together garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper so that it forms a thick paste.
  3. Gently pull the skin away from the turkey breast at the front of the breast (near the neck opening) to form a sort of pocket. Rub some of the rosemary garlic paste onto the breast meat under the skin, reaching in as far as you can without tearing the skin. Rub the remaining rosemary garlic paste all over the skin of the turkey and in the cavity. Add the stuffing, if you're using it, and place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and tie the legs together with kitchen string.
  4. Place the turkey into the preheated oven. Do not cover the pan. Roast, basting every 15 to 20 minutes with the pan juices, until a meat thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reaches 170° F and the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a skewer. This will take anywhere from 3 to 4-1/4 hours (depending on the size of the turkey and whether or not it is stuffed). The only definite way to know if the turkey is cooked is by using a meat thermometer. Remove roasting pan from the oven and let the turkey rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes before carving.
  5. Gravy: In a saucepan, combine the fat from the roasting pan and flour. Cook, stirring to eliminate any lumps, for just a minute or two. Whisk in turkey juices, broth or whatever liquid you're using and cook, stirring constantly, until the gravy thickens. Let simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot.