Roasted Turkey from The Humane Table

Whole Roasted Turkey

It’s no secret that people increasingly want to cook and eat in ways that promote sustainability. They’re choosing foods that need minimal energy to grow and source, cooking with locally grown ingredients, and opting for humanely raised meat and dairy products. The recently released cookbook The Humane Table: Cooking with Compassion (Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2022) makes it easier than ever to put this third practice into action, starting with your holiday cooking.

Dr. Robin R. Ganzert, the president and CEO of American Humane, used her extensive knowledge of sustainable farmers, ranchers, and purveyors to create a year-round cookbook that highlights humanely raised meats, eggs, and dairy products. With chapters designed around winter, spring, summer, and fall meals, the book promises “delicious recipes for home cooks who are deeply mindful about the welfare of animals.” Readers can thumb through recipes for herb and citrus roasted whole turkey and herbed pork chops from humanely raised pigs in Pennsylvania, as well as lighter fare like zucchini fritters and egg and tomato soufflé.

The Butterball™ turkey is a beloved American tradition that, for more than half a century, has been virtually synonymous with Thanksgiving. Here’s a delicious twist on the holiday staple from the folks who not only produce more turkey than anyone else, but also insist on it being American Humane Certified.

The Humane Table celebrates foods that treat animal well-being with respect and dignity, and is a welcome guide to home cooks who hold the same principles. Proceeds from the book sales go to American Humane, promoting their work as the world’s largest, most effective humane nonprofit. Order the book through the Local Palate Marketplace and start cooking for a better, more compassionate world.

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Makes 10 servings

  • 3 small oranges, divided
  • 2 small lemons, divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 sprigs plus 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (divided) or 3 teaspoon dried rosemary (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (12-to-14-pound) Butterball® fresh or frozen whole turkey, thawed
  • 6 medium shallots or small onions—peeled, halved, and divided
  1. Position oven rack in bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Remove 1 teaspoon orange peel and 1 teaspoon lemon peel from fruit. Cut 1 peeled orange and 1 peeled lemon into quarters; set aside.
  3. Combine orange peel, lemon peel, butter, 1 tablespoon of fresh minced rosemary or 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder in medium bowl.
  4. Drain juices from turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey, breast side up, on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan (2 to 2-½ inches deep). Evenly spread ¼ cup butter mixture between skin and breast meat of turkey, being careful not to tear skin.
  5. Season cavity of turkey with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place peeled orange and lemon quarters, 2 shallots, and remaining rosemary sprigs into turkey cavity. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Turn wings back to hold neck skin in place. (Tucking wings will help stabilize turkey in pan and when carving.) Rub ¼ cup butter mixture all over turkey.
  6. Cut remaining 2 oranges and 1 lemon into quarters. Place orange and lemon quarters and remaining 4 shallots around turkey. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into lower part of thigh without touching bone.
  7. Melt remaining ½ cup butter mixture and keep warm.
  8. Bake turkey until meat thermometer registers 180°F and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the breast and stuffing registers 170°F (3 to 3-½ hours), brushing turkey with melted butter mixture once every hour for the first 2 hours and covering loosely with foil after 2 hours to prevent excess browning. Lift turkey onto platter and let stand 15 minutes before carving
  • Recipe By
    Dr. Robin E. Ganzert, The Humane Table: Cooking with Compassion (Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2022)

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