Roast turkey and sage butter

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25 min


10 to 12 servings

* PLUS Standing Time: 15 minutes, Roasting Time: 240 minutes


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
  • 3 tbsp thyme , or 1 tbsp each dried sage and thyme leaves, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6- to 8-kg turkey
  • Chatelaine Classic Stuffing , or 12 cups stuffing


  • In a small bowl, stir butter with sage, thyme and salt. Form into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Sage butter can be made and refrigerated up to 1 week before using. Or freeze up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before using.
  • Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Remove neck and bag of giblets from inside of turkey. Use for Great Gravy (recipe, below). Rinse bird inside and out under cold running water. Pat dry. Place in a roasting pan. Turn bird upside down and fill neck cavity with stuffing. Don¿t pack, as stuffing expands as it cooks. Bring neck skin up over back. Fasten with skewers or sew shut. Turn bird drumstick-end up, then generously stuff body cavity with stuffing. Don¿t pack. Fasten with skewers or sew shut. If there isn¿t enough skin to sew shut, cover opening with a piece of foil so basting juices won¿t make stuffing soggy. Turn bird breast-side up. Tuck wing tips under bird. Tie legs together or tuck under skin flap. Rub skin all over with half of sage butter. Save remaining sage butter for later. Cover bird with a tent of foil. Seal to pan edges.
  • Roast in centre of preheated oven 2 hours. Then remove foil and baste turkey with pan juices. Brush with remaining sage butter. Continue to roast, uncovered and basting occasionally with pan juices, until drumstick moves easily in joint and a meat thermometer inserted into thigh reads 180F (82C). This will take 1-3/4 to 2-1/2 more hours. If turkey browns too quickly in one area, cover with a piece of foil. Remove bird to a cutting board. Cover with foil. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 777,
  • Protein
  • 70.1 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 30.6 g,
  • Fat
  • 39.9 g,
  • Fibre
  • 2.1 g,
  • Sodium
  • 915 mg.

Nothing’s better with roast turkey than a delicious rub of herbs and butter and our Classic Stuffing.

Great Gravy

While turkey is roasting, make a broth from giblets. Place in a medium-size saucepan. Cover with 2 cups (500 mL) water. Add a chopped onion and a few bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 30 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid. Once turkey is removed from pan, skim off fat floating on pan juices. Place pan over 2 burners on medium heat or pour liquid into a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Bring pan juices to a boil. While constantly whisking, sift 1/4 cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour into pan juices. Whisk until smooth. Then whisk in giblet broth or 2 cups (500 mL) chicken broth. For a luxurious taste, stir in 1/2 cup (125 mL) Marsala or 1/4 cup (50 mL) brandy. Stir frequently, uncovered, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 more minutes. Taste. Add pinches of salt and pepper, if needed.