3 ratings

Sage and Rosemary Roasted Turkey Recipe



Suzanne Goin, the chef at Lucques in Los Angeles, California, slathers her turkey with a roasted garlic butter, then adds lots of fresh herbs before the bird goes into the oven, yielding a bird with lots of flavor.

Adapted from Suzanne Goin.


For the brine:

2 tablespoons juniper berries

2 tablespoons allspice berries

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup kosher salt

2 cloves

2 bay leaves

2 dried chilies

1 onion, sliced

1/2 bulb fennel, sliced

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

4 sprigs thyme

4 sprigs sage

4 sprigs rosemary

4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

For the garlic butter:

2 heads garlic

1 pound unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons roughly chopped sage

2 tablespoons roughly chopped rosemary

1 tablespoon lemon zest

For the turkey:

One 14-pound heirloom turkey

5 large branches rosemary

10 sprigs thyme

8 large sprigs sage

1/4 pound unsalted butter, sliced


For the brine:

Coarsely crush the juniper berries in a mortar. Repeat with the allspice and then the fennel seeds.

Dissolve the sugar and salt in 2 cups hot water in a large, very clean container. Add the juniper berries, allspice berries, fennel seeds, cloves, bay leaves, chilies, onion, fennel, carrot, thyme, sage, rosemary and parsley sprigs. Add 3 quarts very cold water and stir to combine.

For the garlic butter:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wrap the garlic cloves in aluminum foil and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes until soft. When the garlic has cooled, carefully squeeze the softened roasted garlic from inside the cloves. Combine with the butter, herbs, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

For the turkey:

Place the turkey in the brine for 36 hours, making sure it’s completely submerged. Remove the turkey from the brine after 36 hours and pat it dry completely (inside and out) with paper towels. Be sure to take the turkey out of the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking so it can come to room temperature and will cook more evenly.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Carefully use your hands to loosen the turkey skin, starting at the breast and then loosening the skin on the legs. Spread 3/4 of the garlic butter evenly under the turkey skin. Stuff the turkey and then tuck the wings behind the back and tie the legs together loosely with kitchen string so the turkey holds its shape.

Scatter 3 sage, 6 thyme, and 3 rosemary sprigs on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan. Place the turkey on top letting the herbs peek out from underneath. Slather the remaining garlic butter over the top of the turkey. Break the remaining herbs into 3 inch pieces and scatter them over-tucking a few in between the wings and thighs. Place the sliced butter on top.

 Roast the turkey for 1 hour, basting after 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 300°F and roast another 2–2 1/2 hours (basting every 15 minutes) until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°F. You can also test by inserting a skewer or paring knife into the thigh and checking that the juices run clear.

 If at any point the turkey starts to get too brown cover it with an aluminum foil “tent”. Let the turkey rest at least 30 minutes before carving.