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Turkey with Lemon Sage Butter


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  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp, plus 1/4 cup (1/2 stick), melted, for basting
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 12-14 lb. turkey, patted dry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, quartered


Servings 10


Step 1

Set a rack inside a large heavy roasting pan. Mash 1/2 cup butter, sage, lemon zest, and paprika in a bowl to combine.
Starting at neck end of turkey, loosen the skin of the breast by gently sliding your fingers underneath. Work half of lemon-sage butter under skin. Loosen skin around legs and things; work remaining lemon-sage butter under skin. Season turkey inside and out with salt and pepper and stuff with lemons. Transfer turkey, breast side down, to prepared pan and refigerate, uncovered, overnight.
Let turkey stand at room temp for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375. Pour hot water into pan to a depth of 1/4". Roast turkey, basting occassionally with remaining 1/4 cup butter, for 1 hour. Using paper towels, flip turkey; roast, basting occassionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of this registers 165, 1-1 1/2 hours longer. Transfer to platter. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

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