Alexandra Deshor-tasty the 20 Pound Turkey!

The main event and the biggest turkey I’ve ever roasted! Thank goodness the Med boy was here to help carve, otherwise I don’t know what we would have done….probably ripped pieces off with our teeth?

In all seriousness, this is the best way to roast a turkey I’ve found so far – no stuffing, just an herb and butter rub. Two different oven temperatures and basting with chicken stock and the turkey drippings. The turkey comes out beautifully tender. As for the name…well it’s kind of an inside joke from the summer festival I work at. I’ll just let you enjoy the bizarre name and make up your own story for her. = ) But remember! Always go for a happy turkey (one that was able to run around and eat what it should eat) and always thank the turkey for its life.

Read on for the recipe and photos…


1 16 to 18 lb turkey (ours was 20, as I said – supposed to feed about 12 – 14 people)

1 tbsp dried rosemary, crumbled

2 tsp ground sage

2 tsp dried thyme, crumbled

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp pepper

kosher salt

1 stick butter, melted

garlic powder


1 can broth, for basting


  • Remove the giblets and turkey neck and save for gravy and turkey stock later!
  • Clean and thoroughly dry your turkey inside and out. Brine if you’d like – I usually avoid this step.
  • Combine rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub some in each cavity.
  • At this point you can loosely pack your turkey with stuffing and truss it, tucking in the wings and folding the tail over the stuffing.
  • Brush the top of the turkey generously with melted butter (flashes of Julia Child anyone?) and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Roast turkey, uncovered, at 375F, basting frequently (every 10 minutes or so) with melted butter and broth (alternating).
  • After 1 hour, baste and sprinkle with seasonings again, then make a tent with aluminum foil and cover breast loosely.
  • Reduce the heat to 325F and continue roasting for another hour, basting occasionally (ever 15 – 20 minutes, alternating between broth and pan drippings).
  • Uncover breast and continue roasting until the thickest portion of the thigh registers 165F (don’t hit the bone or the temperature reading will be false – and DON’T trust the little pop up things in the turkeys, they’re never right). This will take another hour and a half to 2 hours depending on the size of your turkey. If you don’t own a thermometer, test by poking the thigh with a large fork – if the juices are no longer pink, the turkey is done.
  • When the turkey is golden brown and done, allow to sit for 20 minutes before carving.

  • Carve by removing the drumsticks and wings by running a (very) sharp carving knife through the joints. Medboy removed the breast whole and sliced it horizontally – it keeps the meat more tender.
  • KEEP the pan drippings to make giblet gravy!

Thus ends the saga of Alexandra Deshor-tasty.

(well kind of, we still have lots of leftovers and the carcass to make turkey stock!)

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