Recipe: Garlic, Herb and Prosciutto Covered Thanksgiving Turkey


This year’s theme was to make a dish that was inspired by our culture (which, in my case is Italian). I signed up to tackle my second bird and it turned out even better than last year’s beer-brined, bacon-blanketed turkey.




Garlic, Herb and Prosciutto Thanksgiving TurkeyIMG_6219
A 20 lb. turkey takes about 20 minutes to prepare, 4 1/2 hours to cook. Serves 20 (with no leftovers).

20 lb. turkey (already defrosted!)

For the inside of the turkey
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 fresh basil leaves
1 lemon, cut in half
10-12 cloves of garlic, peeled

For the outside of the turkey
2 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 T. fresh basil, finely chopped
3 T. garlic, finely chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. each of salt and pepper
2/3 lb. prosciutto, thinly sliced

2 cups of chicken broth
1 head of garlic, cut in half

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash the turkey and set on a rack in a roasting pan.
  3. Rub the salt and pepper over the entire turkey.
  4. Place the sprigs of rosemary, basil leaves, lemon, and cloves of garlic inside the cavity of the turkey.
  5. Drizzle the olive oil on the outside of the turkey.
  6. Combine the chopped basil, rosemary, and garlic in a small bowl. Rub this combination on the outside of the turkey. Try to spread this as evenly as possible.
  7. Layer the slices of prosciutto on top of the turkey. Try to cover the entire thing to the best of your ability. Any remaining prosciutto can be placed inside the cavity of the turkey (or eaten).
  8. Place the halved head of garlic in the bottom of the pan.
  9. Bake the turkey in the oven for 45 minutes at 450 degrees.
  10. After the first 45 minutes, remove the turkey from the oven and turn the heat down to 350 degrees.
  11. Baste the turkey with chicken broth, and place back in the oven. You’ll need to do this every 30-45 minutes until the inner temperature of the turkey reaches 165 degrees. This will likely take about three and a half hours.
  12. Find someone who knows how to carve a turkey.
  13. Eat the bird!!! 😀

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Note: For turkey roasting times and conversions, check out this site:

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