Butter Blanketed Turkey

Butter Blanketed Turkey

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Gluten Free, Main Course, Turkey
Servings 10


  • 1 turkey
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 large yellow onion cut into 1/6 wedges
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter melted
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3 stalks celery broken into thirds
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 1/2 c turkey or chicken broth


  • Position an oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  • Remove any turkey parts from the cavity and reserve for another use (if desired)
  • Dry turkey well with paper towels inside and out and sprinkle cavity with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Stuff with thyme, rosemary, lemon wedges and half of the onion wedges
  • In a small bowl, mix together room temperature butter with paprika to make a smooth, spreadable mixture
  • Use your hands to separate the skin from the flesh of the turkey from the breasts towards the legs, making sure not to tear the skin
  • Spread about half of the butter mixture evenly between the skin and flesh on one side and repeat for the other side with the remaining butter mixture
  • Sprinkle the outside of the turkey with 2 tsp salt
  • Scatter the celery pieces, carrots and remaining onion wedges in the bottom of a roasting pan and place roasting rack in pan ensuring it is level
  • Pour broth into pan and transfer turkey to the rack, tuck wings back under the body and tie the legs together with butcher's twine
  • Cut a 20-inch piece of cheesecloth and fold twice, creating 4 layers
  • Submerge the cloth in the melted butter, making sure it is completely saturate with it and gently squeeze the cloth, then reform so there are 4 layers
  • Place on top of turkey covering it completely and use a turkey baster to baste the cheesecloth with some of the remaining melted butter
  • Roast for 30 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and baste the turkey with the pan juices and more of the melted butter.
  • Continue to roast, basting with butter and pan drippings every 30 minutes, for an additional 2 hours
  • Very gently remove the cheesecloth from the turkey, taking care not to teak the skin (See Cook's Note) and baste one more time, then return the turkey to the oven with the breasts facing towards the back and roast until a temperature inserted in the thickest part of the thigh measures 165 degrees
  • Let rest for 30 minutes before carving


The skin can stick to the cheesecloth so make sure it is basted very well. If it does stick at the end of cooking, just baste the spots that are stuck with more butter or pan drippings and slowly pull away the cheesecloth
Butter Blanketed Turkey
Scroll to top