2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon peel
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
1½ teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14- to 16-pound) fresh or thawed frozen whole turkey
Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs, apple, and kale, if desired
- Place flat wire rack in large roasting pan.
- Combine brown sugar, lemon peel, dried thyme, salt, paprika, garlic powder, sage and red pepper in small bowl.
- Remove neck and giblets from turkey cavities; discard or refrigerate for other use. Drain juices from turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Turn wings back to hold neck skin against back of turkey. Return legs to tucked position, if untucked. Place turkey, breast up, on rack in prepared roasting pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Roast 3 to 3½ hours or until meat thermometer reaches 180°F when inserted into deepest part of thigh not touching bone. Cover breast and top of drumsticks with foil after 1½ hours to prevent overbrowning, if needed. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs, apple and kale, if desired.
Recipes courtesy of Butterball®. Need some turkey tips from the experts? Check out our article, “The Butterball® Turkey Talk-Line Confirms That Turkey is Still in Demand for the Holidays.”