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Salt and Pepper Turkey


Spreading butter under the skin enhances the flavor of the breast meat.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10

Source: Everyday Food, November 2009


  • 1 whole turkey (about 12 pounds), thawed if frozen, rinsed and patted dry (neck and giblets reserved for Giblet Stock; liver discarded)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter (3/4 stick), room temperature
  • Bread Stuffing with Sage


  1. Make Giblet Stock. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Tuck wing tips underneath body of turkey. Season inside of turkey with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix together butter and 1 teaspoon salt. With your fingers, gently separate breast skin from flesh without tearing skin. Spread butter mixture evenly under breast skin.

  2. Loosely fill large cavity and neck cavity with stuffing; fold neck skin over opening. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Season turkey generously with salt and pepper. Place turkey in an 11-by-14-inch roasting pan. Roast 1 hour. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; tent turkey with foil. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of thigh registers 165, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  3. Transfer turkey to a cutting board, still tented with foil, and let rest 30 minutes. Reserve pan with drippings for Pan Gravy. To serve, carve turkey and scoop out stuffing.


When Martha made this recipe with Sarah Carey on "The Martha Stewart Show," they did not prepare the giblet stock. To prepare the recipe they made, substitute unsalted butter and disregard giblet stock instructions.

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