Rosemary And Garlic Butter Turkey For Two On St. Valentine's Day!! How Romantic

I tell you guys, Maria and I just love whole roasted turkey. We get to eat it once per year during the Christmas holiday and that's it! So...if you get it right all fine and dandy but if you don't then you have to wait for another year to eat whole roasted turkey hoping you will get it right.....

Well in December 2014 ol' Santa was good to us and sent us three turkeys!!! We smoked one which was not bad but it needed one more hour on the grill. The second, was roasted in the oven. It turned out good but the final color was not what I wanted we cooked it in a Dutch oven. The third we saved for a special day like today!! A whole turkey just for the two of us and...maybe for Barbara when she comes in.

All three turkeys were brined for 24 hours prior to roasting / barbecuing.

This time fellas the turkey came out fan- frigging - tastic!! Color, tenderness, taste, moisture and crispiness of skin.

Not taking into consideration any one turkey recipe from the internet (and there are many good ones), I sat down and gathered all the knowledge I have in cooking and came out with this. Believe me guys this is it. THE RECIPE. 


  • 1 5 kg turkey from the American Farming Institute in Thessaloniki, Greece's sister capital. This Institute is American, showing Greeks how to raise turkeys. They also make yoghurt and milk.
  • A big bunch of freshly cut rosemary.
  • 200 gr good fresh unsalted butter melted.
  • A brush.
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic crushed.
  • Freshly ground pepper to your heart's content.
  • No Salt.
  • A big baking tray.
  • A cake cooling rack to keep the turkey off the baking tray floor.
  • Three cups of boiling water.
Step 1:  Brining.
  • Use a big 5 gallon food grade plastic container with a close fitting lid.
  • Put your thawed and washed turkey in side.
  • Fill with water to cover turkey.
  • Take off turkey.
  • Add 1 cup of white or brown sugar; it does not matter. Keep it simple.
  • Add 1 cup of thick salt.
  • Dissolve well add turkey.
  • Close lid and refrigerate for 24 hours.
All the fancy stuff such as using apple juice, maple syrup etc in the brining water is a bunch of B.S. in my opinion. It just raises the total cost of the turkey.

Note: We Greeks have found out from reading American recipes that this is a very important step to take when preparing for a roast turkey. with respect to tenderness and keeping the breast moist; on condition no more salt is added to the turkey while cooking.

Step 2:  Preparation.
  • Melt butter with garlic.
  • Brush the garlic butter all over the turkey including the cavity.
  • Add all the pepper you want.
  • Take rosemary leaves off the twigs by sliding your thumb and fore finger down the twig and disperse all over the turkey including the cavity.
  • Don't throw the twigs away, Use them in the thigh and wing area. They will give extra flavor.
  • Set your cooling rack in the baking tray.
  • Set your turkey on the rack so there is an air space between the turkey and the pan floor.
  • Pour in the three cups of boiling water and keep an eye lest it runs dry while cooking. This is your future gravy.
Note: Basting the turkey with fresh butter will cause the skin to turn out crispy when it is cooked.

Step 3: Roasting.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius with air. If you don't have air, then preheat to 200 degrees.
  • When oven is ready put turkey in oven breast side down for one hour.
  • When hour is finished turn turkey breast side up and baste with more garlic butter. Return the turkey to the oven for the rest of the time. The turkey has to be equally golden all over when it is done.
  • Roast for another hour and half and check for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer at the the top of the thigh but not touching the bone. It should read  74 plus degrees Celsius.
  • If not, keep roasting and put a simple piece of aluminum foil over the turkey if it is too dark in color.
  • When finished set turkey on a cutting board and let rest for about half an hour before carving.
This method my friends is the best according to my taste. Basically it is just like roasting chicken only this is bigger and needs more time in the oven. But it does need HIGH TEMPERATURE from the beginning.

As for the sauce. I leave this up to your imagination to make, or come back to me and ask for directions. I am sick and tired of people that never contact me.

Enjoy this romantic Valentine's Day with your mate whoever it may be, your wife, girlfriend, boy friend, dog whatever!!



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