Sara Foster's Herb-Roasted Turkey


This incredibly delicious roast turkey is twice infused with flavor. Sage leaves under its skin emanate into the breast meat while an aromatic mist of rosemary, white wine, and apple juice permeates the flesh from the bottom. Fresh herbs are absolutely essential to the success of this turkey; dried herbs just won't do.

Sara Foster's Herb-Roasted Turkey
Prep Time:
30 mins
Stand Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Roast Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 30 mins
8 servings, plus leftovers


  • 1 15-17 pound whole fresh free-range turkey

  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 15 fresh sage leaves

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 2 onions, quartered

  • 1 apple, quartered

  • 2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 cup unfiltered apple juice


  1. Rinse the turkey inside and out; remove giblets and neck from body and neck cavities.

  2. Loosen skin of turkey breast. Place 2 Tbsp. butter and 4 sage leaves under the skin of each breast. Season turkey cavity and skin with salt and pepper. Place 2 rosemary sprigs, 1 onion, half the apple, and 4 sage leaves in breast cavity. Pour wine and apple juice in roasting pan; add remaining onion, apple, sage, and rosemary. Place turkey breast-side down in pan. Cover; refrigerated overnight.

  3. Remove turkey from refrigerator; let stand 1 hour at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350°F. Skewer neck skin to back. Tuck drumsticks to tail using kitchen string. Tuck wing tips under the back.

  4. Roast turkey, breast-side down, for 1 1/2 hours, spooning pan drippings on turkey every 30 to 45 minutes. Turn turkey breast-side up (using large tongs inserted in cavities and wearing heavy rubber gloves). Cut string between drumsticks. Roast 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer, spooning pan drippings on turkey every 30 to 45 minutes, until turkey juices run clear when a small knife is inserted in thickest part of thigh (instant-read thermometers should read 180°F in thigh; 165°F in breast). Lightly tent turkey with foil if the skin is becoming too brown.

  5. Remove turkey from oven; spoon pan drippings on roasted turkey. Transfer turkey to a cutting board (reserve pan drippings for making Herb Gravy). Let turkey stand for 30 to 40 minutes before carving (temperature of turkey will continue to rise 5 to 10 degrees), and the meat will firm up for slicing.


Start with the best, fresh, natural, free-range turkey; 15 to 20 pounds, I think, are the best size.Do not put the stuffing inside the cavity, cook it separately.Preheat the oven; let the turkey stand at room temperature about 1 hour before cooking. Cook about 10 to 12 minutes per pound (15 at the most), until the internal temperature is 180° in a thigh, 165° in a breast. Let the roasted turkey stand at least 30 minutes before slicing. It will continue to cook another 5 to 10 degrees. Don't overcook; fresh turkeys cook faster than frozen, and the meat will be pinkish in color rather than brown.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

331 Calories
10g Fat
5g Carbs
48g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 331
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 177mg 59%
Sodium 162mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 48g
Vitamin C 1.8mg 9%
Calcium 40.4mg 3%
Iron 3.1mg 17%
Potassium 448mg 10%
Folate, total 16.1mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.6mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.7mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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