Perfect Roast Turkey by the Barefoot Contessa

I love watching the Barefoot Contessa prepare  food whether it’s a meal for a few dozen people or entertaining a few friends.  I enjoy cooking with real ingredients that aren’t too exotic for me to pronounce and she agrees that butter is the best ingredient (No fat-free stuff here).

I know I won’t be making the turkey this year, but found this recipe and thought I would make it as part of my collection of chosen recipes.  It looks easy to make and am sure will be delicious.  This picture and the entire recipe is from the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa Collection. 

Servings: 6.  Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours


  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 whole lemon, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise



Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves to the butter mixture. Set aside.

Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, quartered onion, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

Roast the turkey about 2 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes.

Slice the turkey and serve.

Tomorrow… I will share my recipe for home-made gravy.  But I must warn you… once you go home-made on the gravy, you’ll never go back to pre-made gravy…baby.  Then on Sunday, I will share my garlic mashed potato recipe.  YUM!!! I love Thanksgiving.

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