This Herb Butter Roasted Turkey with White Wine and Citrus yields an incredibly flavorful, juicy bird with notes of sage, rosemary, thyme, orange, and white wine. The cavity gets filled with wine soaked oranges and sage, and the simple gravy is filled with all of those amazing flavors! It’s a fantastic, low-stress, easy turkey to make for Thanksgiving, or any special holiday!
I’ve got you covered with an epic Thanksgiving side and dessert (which are my two favorite parts of Thanksgiving, let’s be real), but I wanted to share this turkey recipe with you guys because it’s easy, and REALLY good. I think so many people are intimidated by making a turkey, but honestly, it couldn’t be simpler. This version is packed with citrus + herbs, and a little bit of white wine. It’s juicy, flavorful, and everything you want in your bird on Turkey Day.
The skin gets a nice, golden brown crust from the herb butter, and the cavity gets stuffed with wine-soaked oranges. YES! Wine-soaked oranges. It’s so, so good.
In my family, we’ve always made my grandma’s turkey recipe, stuffed with her super classic, no frills, stuffing. It’s forever my favorite turkey because hello, nostalgia, (and inside-the-bird stuffing!), but if I’m going with an un-stuffed turkey, this one is absolutely amazing and packs even more flavor than my grandma’s. If we’re talking flavor alone, this one wins, hands-down!
The oranges, white wine, and herb butter really work perfectly together, and the pan gravy has hints of all of those amazing flavors. It’s pretty fantastic, and forgiving. You can’t mess it up.
If you’re looking to prep this guy ahead of time, this is how I do it:
- Mix up the herb butter up to two days in advance, and keep it in the fridge. When you’re ready to use it, take it out a few hours ahead of time so it has time to soften. Or, if you forget, just stick it in the microwave to soften a bit!
- Soak your oranges the night before. Put your oranges in a glass bowl, pour the wine over them, cover, and let them infuse with white wine goodness in the fridge overnight!
- Measure out your gravy ingredients (minus the turkey neck broth) and keep them in the fridge, so that the gravy can come together super quickly once the turkey is done!
Just prepping those few steps ahead of time will make the turkey making process even simpler – and trust me, it’s already super simple!
Aside from the wine-soaked oranges, we’re doing something kind of crazy and we are POURING a whole cup of white wine into the cavity of the turkey. I wish I could take credit for this genius idea, but it was all my mom. She had the idea when we were testing this turkey, and it worked. Amazingly so. Given, some did seep out, but the wine really infuses through the bird and helps keep it juicy, along with the oranges!
The flavor is really something else. I still can’t believe how flavorful this bird is. Like actually, really tasty. It doesn’t just taste like plain ol’ roasted turkey – it’s actually interesting! Which is hard to say for Thanksgiving turkey sometimes. You know?
And if you need sides to go along with your Thanksgiving feast, I’ve got you covered!
- Creamed Kale with Hazelnut Bacon Crunch – Oh my goodness you guys, this is sinfully good. Plus, it’s kale! So, we can feel like we’re eating a little something green?
- Cranberry Maple Pancetta Brussels Sprouts – Sweet + tart + salty + savory. We’ve got all of the flavors in these and they’re SO good.
- Garlic and Herb Cheesy Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Shallots – They sound fancy, but they’re not. These are magical and worth every bit of #extra that they are.
- Parmesan Herb Sweet Potato Stacks – These are so fun, easy, and ridiculously flavorful!
- Parmesan Bacon Brussels with Roasted Pears and Butternut Squash – Basically everything you’d want in a side dish! Sooo good!
Don’t forget to tag me @spicesinmydna on Instagram if you try any of my recipes on Thanksgiving! The absolute BEST part of my job is seeing you make my recipes, especially on holidays!
Herb Butter Roasted Turkey with White Wine and Citrus
This Herb Butter Roasted Turkey with White Wine and Citrus yields an incredibly flavorful, juicy bird with notes of sage, rosemary, thyme, orange, and white wine. The cavity gets filled with wine soaked oranges and sage, and the simple gravy is filled with all of those amazing flavors! It's a fantastic, low-stress, easy turkey to make for Thanksgiving, or any special holiday!
For the turkey
- 1 navel orange, cut into 1/8ths
- 1 cup dry white wine (I like to use Chardonnay here)
- 1 (10 lb.) turkey
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for the cavity
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus extra for the cavity
- handful of fresh sage
For the gravy
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups broth from turkey neck*
- 3 1/2-4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (I like to use Chardonnay here)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
An hour before you're ready to start the turkey, place oranges in a bowl with the white wine. Let sit for at least an hour before you're ready to prep everything else. Mix up the herb butter. Add softened butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside while you prep the turkey.
Remove the turkey neck from the turkey and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with water (2-3 cups or so) and bring to a simmer (You're going to let this simmer all day while the turkey cooks, and just keep adding water to it.) Rinse the turkey inside and out with cool water, and throuroughly pat dry. Season the cavity of the turkey generously with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Preheat the oven to 350℉ and position the oven rack to the lowest position.
Rub the herb butter all over the turkey, as well as underneath the skin. Stuff the turkey with the wine-soaked oranges and handful of sage. Place turkey on a rack set inside a large roasting pan. Pour the wine from soaking the oranges inside of the cavity (it's ok if some of it seeps out!) Season the turkey all over with a few more pinches of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Tent turkey loosely with foil. Roast for 2 hours and 45 minutes - 3 hours, or until juices frm the thigh run clear and the temperature in the thickest part of the breast and thigh reach 170℉ and 180℉, respectively. Remove the foil tent during the last hour of cooking. Let turkey rest while you make the gravy.
For the gravy, heat the roasting pan on the stove (you'll need to use two burners) with all of the pan juices over medium-medium/high heat. Once hot, add the flour, whisking to combine. Let cook for 30 seconds - 1 minute, whisking constantly to prevent flour from burning. Slowly whisk in the broth from the turkey neck (should be about 2 cups), and increase heat to high. Keep whisking until it thickens - this can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Once the gravy has thickened, add 3 1/2 - 4 cups broth, whisking to combine. If you like a thicker gravy, start with 2 1/2 cups and go from there. Bring to a simmer again, and cook until gravy has thickened, another 5-10 minutes. Add the white wine, and simmer for another 3-4 minutes or until alcohol has cooked off. Stir in the butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you want a super smooth gravy, you can strain it at this point. Carve the turkey, and serve with gravy!
If you're looking to prep this guy ahead of time, this is how I do it:
-Mix up the herb butter up to two days in advance, and keep it in the fridge. When you're ready to use it, take it out a few hours ahead of time so it has time to soften. Or, if you forget, just stick it in the microwave to soften a bit!
-Soak your oranges the night before. Put your oranges in a glass bowl, pour the wine over them, cover, and let them infuse with white wine goodness in the fridge overnight!
-Measure out your gravy ingredients (minus the turkey neck broth) and keep them in the fridge, so that the gravy can come together super quickly once the turkey is done!
This recipe was fairly easy to make and DELICIOUS. The single navel orange with sage was a great pairing to keep white meat moist and give it a very flavorful and bright taste. Will definitely be making this again.
Spices in My DNA
Thank you SO much Ryan! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!!
I used this recipe last year and cannot wait to show it off again this year, even if I am only feeing my immediate family! HIGHLY recommended!!
Spices in My DNA
Aww thank you so much!! So happy to hear it was a hit, I really appreciate it!! 🙂
I really want to try this but my husband is so traditional. Will this work if we throw in onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in the cavity as well?
Spices in My DNA
Hi Monica! It will definitely work, but won’t be as citrusy and the flavors will be different. Sorry if I’m late in seeing this, I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! Let me know if you still try the turkey 🙂