Five-Herb Turkey With Brandy-Laced Gravy


  • Prep Time25 mins
  • Total Time4 hrs 40 mins
  • Makes10 to 12 servings
Five-Herb Turkey With Brandy-Laced Gravy

(Photo: Andreas Trauttmansdorff)

Feeling traditional? This classic turkey recipe served with rich, brandy-laced gravy fits the bill.


  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 tbsp dried rosemary leaves, crumbled

  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp dried tarragon

  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves

  • 2 tsp dried sage

  • 2 tsp oregano leaves

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 6 to 8 kg turkey


  • In a small bowl, stir butter with seasonings. Refrigerate up to 3 days if making ahead. Bring to room temperature before using. (Or, try our Rum-Butter Rub instead; recipe below)

  • Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Remove neck and bag of giblets from inside of turkey; use for Brandy-Laced Gravy. Rinse turkey inside and out under cold running water. Pat dry. Place breast side down in a roasting pan. Fill neck cavity with stuffing. Don't overpack, stuffing expands as it cooks. Bring neck skin up over back to enclose stuffing. Fasten with skewers or sew shut. Turn breast side up. Add enough stuffing to body cavity to completely fill. Don't overpack. Fasten with skewers or sew shut.

  • Tuck wing tips under turkey. Tie legs together or tuck under skin flap. Rub one-third of herb butter over skin. Turn breast side down in pan. Rub with half of remaining butter. Cover with a tent of foil. Seal to pan edges.

  • Roast in centre of preheated oven, 2 hrs. Remove foil and turn breast side up. Baste with pan juices. Dab with remaining butter mixture. Continue to roast, uncovered and basting occasionally with pan juices, until drumstick moves easily in joint and a meat thermometer inserted into thigh reads 180F (80C). This will take 2 to 3 1/4 more hrs, about 20 min per pound (500 g).

  • If turkey is browning too quickly in one area, cover just that area with a piece of foil. Remove roasted turkey to cutting board. Cover loosely with foil. Let stand at least 15 min before carving.

Rum-Butter Rub

Instead of stirring butter with seasonings, stir 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter with 1 tbsp (15 mL) dark rum, 1 tbsp (15 mL) onion powder, 2 tsp (10 mL) each ground ginger and dried thyme leaves, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) allspice and a pinch of salt. Continue with recipe as written.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 767, Protein 70.5g, Carbohydrates 36.5g, Fat 36.3g, Fibre 3.4g, Sodium 861mg.

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