This recipe makes your turkey moist and full of flavor. You can also use this recipe for Cornish game hens, chicken breasts or roasting chicken. Select a turkey sized according to the amount of people you will be serving.

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Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

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  • In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, black pepper and salt. Set aside.

  • Wash the turkey inside and out; pat dry. Remove any large fat deposits. Loosen the skin from the breast. This is done by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose to the end of the drumstick, being careful not to tear the skin.

  • Using your hand, spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin and down the thigh and leg. Rub the remainder of the rosemary mixture over the outside of the breast. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat.

  • Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast in the preheated oven 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

596 calories; 33.7 g total fat; 198 mg cholesterol; 165 mg sodium. 0.8 g carbohydrates; 68.1 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (867)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/11/2004
This was the best turkey i had ever made. I added fresh italian seasoning that it asked for instead of dried, such as marjoram, thyme, oregano, etc. I did not add sage since it overpowers foods and so does the rosemary so you have to choose one. When i cooked the turkey i cooked it breast side down..that is the best secret to having a moist delicous turkey..also cover with foil, if you are not stuffing the turkey throw some rosemary sprigs inside the cavity with whatever vegetables you may choose as well. The last 45 min. to an hour take the foil off and turn the turkey breast side up so it can brown. Read More
(634)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/29/2002
I thought this was average at best. I made this w/a whole chicken. I think the water is what ruined it. The skin on the chicken remained soft. Not sure if I'll make this again. Read More
(64)
1169 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 986
  • 4 star values: 140
  • 3 star values: 32
  • 2 star values: 7
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 5 stars
01/11/2004
This was the best turkey i had ever made. I added fresh italian seasoning that it asked for instead of dried, such as marjoram, thyme, oregano, etc. I did not add sage since it overpowers foods and so does the rosemary so you have to choose one. When i cooked the turkey i cooked it breast side down..that is the best secret to having a moist delicous turkey..also cover with foil, if you are not stuffing the turkey throw some rosemary sprigs inside the cavity with whatever vegetables you may choose as well. The last 45 min. to an hour take the foil off and turn the turkey breast side up so it can brown. Read More
(634)
Rating: 5 stars
12/28/2003
This rub recipe is wonderful, and it made excellent gravy. In preperation I used a brine that I think matched well with the rub. Soak the turkey overnight in the following: Fresh rosemary, basil, peppercorns, juice of 2 lemons and 2 oranges; and for each gallon of water needed to cover the bird, add 1 cup kosher salt and 1 cup brown sugar. Rinse before rubbing. Even microwaved leftovers were moist! Read More
(583)
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2004
The family really enjoyed this recipe - even the picky eaters claimed this was the best turkey they had ever tried. Count me in on the side of the briners - the previous reviewers suggest brining the turkey the night before; this really helped keep the turkey moist. Brine Recipe: 1 cup lemon juice 1 cup orange juice For each gallon of water needed to cover the bird, add 1 cup kosher salt and 1 cup brown sugar. A couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary and fresh basil 1 cup of peppercorns Just be sure to keep the turkey cool while the brine is working away to lock in the flavor. I double bagged the turkey and placed it in a large cooler surrounded with ice. Give the skin a chance to become crispy by taking the turkey out of the brine 2 hours before cooking, patting the turkey dry and allowing it to sit in the fridge. Read More
(348)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/09/2006
I'm embarrassed to admit this but last night was the first time I ever cooked a turkey. I used softened butter instead of olive oil and mixed the butter with sage rosemary and thyme. I loosened the skin from the breast and smeared the savory butter all over the breast meat under the skin. This made for the most delicious and moist turkey we have ever eaten in our lives. Fabulous! Read More
(164)
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2005
It was definitely a weird experience putting the spices between the skin and body of the turkey but it worked really easily because I used long yellow plastic gloves. Yes, I was a sight to behold with apron and long yellow gloves but it got the job done! I mixed the fresh spices in a salad dressing jar the night before and shook it well to allow the flavors to work into the oil. That also saved prep time on roasting day and allowed the flavored oil to be easily poured where it was to go. I started the roast breast side down and tented it with aluminum foil after it browned nicely. After 2 hours I turned it breast side up and tented it after it browned. Earlier I pulled the wings away from the body to ensure the area under them browned as well. I used the oven probe the last hour or two (of slightly more than 4 hours for the 15 pounder) and it was perfect color and moistness at 180 degrees. Read More
(134)
Rating: 5 stars
12/24/2002
I substituted the water with white wine. Very tasty Read More
(93)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/06/2006
I have made this turkey 4 years in a row. My husband and I only made a few changes. First, we cover for 2 hours then cook uncovered the last 2. We also double the ingredients and place under the skin, on top and in the cavity. This adds a nice rosemary flavor to the stuffing. Read More
(82)
Rating: 5 stars
01/08/2004
I put the spices and the olive oil together the night before and let the oil soak up all the flavor. All I did on Thanksgiving Day was rub it all over the turkey - inside and out - and place the turkey in a "turkey" baking bag for 3 hours. It was great!! Read More
(77)
Rating: 4 stars
11/11/2003
There's nothing a dead turkey likes better than a nice warm bath and a good oil massage. I added more spices to my mixture and found it surprisingly easy to spread the butter under the skin. I was so afraid I was going to break it but it worked out fine. I had a lot of the mixture left so I used it inside the cavity and on top of the skin also. I roasted on 500 for about thirty minutes and then flipped the bird and reduced the heat for the rest of the cooking time. The meat was juicey and delicately infused with all the wonderful herbs and seasonings. Very good Star! Bro came thru with flying colors!!!!:) Read More
(75)
Rating: 3 stars
08/29/2002
I thought this was average at best. I made this w/a whole chicken. I think the water is what ruined it. The skin on the chicken remained soft. Not sure if I'll make this again. Read More
(64)