Make your turkey better than ever with this flavorful compound butter for turkey full of delicious herbs.
A compound butter is simply a butter with extra flavors added. This butter recipe is infused with all of the traditional Thanksgiving flavors, like sage, thyme, rosemary, and garlic.
Flavoring Compound Butters
Making delicious turkey is all about getting some great flavor and juiciness into it. That’s actually why so many people brine turkey (and this extra-flavorful turkey brine is the best I’ve ever used!). Other ways to get that flavor into the turkey is by using a really flavorful butter, either rubbed onto the turkey before cooking it, during cooking, afterwards, or all of the above.
A mixture of fresh and dried herbs helps achieve the best flavor with the least amount of ingredients. Thyme and sage, for example, provide better flavor in their dried form, while parsley and rosemary provide better flavor as fresh herbs.
While not quite the same, you could also flavor your compound butter for turkey with homemade poultry or turkey seasoning. Store-bought blends are also fine, just make sure that they don’t already include salt.
Preparing Fresh Parsley
The chlorophyll in the fresh parsley that is released after it’s been cut can often bleed into the butter. If the butter is being cooked or baked on something, like a turkey, it won’t matter much. However, if the butter will be used as a finishing butter at the table, you’ll want to first mince the parsley, then rinse and dry it well.
To do this, place the freshly minced parsley onto a clean kitchen towel or three layers of paper towel. Close the towel around the parsley to create a little “beggar’s purse” shape and rinse under cool running water for about 30 seconds, gently squeezing the bundle, which will release the chlorophyll.
Transfer the rinsed parsley to a clean, dry paper towel and spread in a single layer as best you can. Let this sit for about 10 minutes, and then add it to the butter.
How To Make Turkey Compound Butter
To make the Turkey Butter mixture, first set out your unsalted butter to let it come to room temperature so that the ingredients are able to come together. Combine the butter, salt, thyme, sage, garlic powder, parsley, and rosemary until well mixed.
Transfer the butter to a ramekin or form into a log using parchment or plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving or slicing, which will allow the butter to solidify and the flavors to meld together.
I love to rub it on and under the skin of turkey or chicken before it goes in the oven, or, I do this really amazing technique in my delicious roast turkey recipe where I rub butter on aluminum foil that gets pressed onto the top of the turkey to protect the white meat from drying out, and to continuously baste the turkey in butter as it cooks. Alternatively, you can dab this butter onto sliced cooked turkey right before serving. This compound butter is also great on pan-fried chicken and shrimp, as well as a basting butter or baking butter. Compound butters can add great flavor to roasted potatoes or vegetables too.
How Long Does Compound Butter Last?
This compound butter will stay good stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can also keep it in the freezer for up to three months. After that, the butter can start to take on odors from the fridge or freezer.
For more information about wrapping and storing compound butters, head to this post on Compound Butter for Steak for the full details.
Podcast Episode: Making Compound Butter For Turkey
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this compound butter, along with some other great tips, by clicking the play button below:Print
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. You’ll want a double batch if using to roast a whole turkey.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley, rinsed and dried well
- 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
- In a small bowl combine butter, salt, thyme, sage, garlic powder, parsley, and rosemary until well mixed.
- Transfer butter to a ramekin or form into a log using parchment or plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving or slicing.
Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 3 months.