If you are looking for a compound butter for turkey to make the juiciest flavorful bird on the street than this is the recipe for you.
Fresh herbs garlic and seasoning whipped into a rich compound butter that you can use to stuff underneath the skin or slather it right overtop.
This compound butter is fantastic on turkey but it’s also great for chicken, fish, and pork so it will come in handy for recipes all year long.
What is compound butter?
Compound butter is a special kind of butter that has been infused with fresh herbs, aromatics, and flavorings. The combination of melted butter and ingredients is then chilled until it solidifies back into a spreadable consistency.
Ingredient List For Compound Butter for Turkey
Butter: You can’t make compound butter without butter, I use salted butter but unsalted butter works too. Just add a little extra kosher salt or chicken bouillon if you use unsalted butter.
Black Pepper: Use a case ground to fresh cracked black pepper instead of a powder or table grind.
Garlic: Use fresh chopped garlic instead of the jarred minced garlic. The flavor and texture is superior in every way.
Fresh Herbs: You can use any herbs you like to make this compound butter for turkey. I like the combination of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. It’s so good they wrote a some about it.
Lemon: Zest a lemon before juicing it to maximize the lemon flavor in this recipe
Worcestershire: This mysterious sauce just adds that little boost in recipes. Its my not so secret weapon in this recipe.
Where should you apply the compound butter?
The easy answer is why not do both, The late great Anthony Bourdain once said “I’m a chef not a cardiologist” so if you want to load up the bird with a little extra buttery goodness I say go for it.
I will mention that running your hand underneath the skin to separate the meat from the skin does help the skin get crisper so while you’re in there add a little butter.
Will all of the compound butter melt off?
Most of the butter will melt off as the turkey cooks but as it does it will be collected in the pan which I highly recommend using to make gravy with.
As the butter melts it will sear the herbs and garlic into the skin holding it in place and it will help crisp the skin as well.
How To Store Compound Butter
After you make the butter you can leave it out at room temperature and use it for all of your other dishes like stuffing, green beans and mashed potatoes throughout the day.
Once you’re done you can roll the compound butter out into logs wrapped in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for about 2 months or freeze for up to 6 months.
There are many different ways that you can customize this compound butter recipe to suit your tastes.
- Use different herbs, such as dill or cilantro. The options are endless for adding herbs to the butter.
- You can also experiment with different flavorings, such as soy sauce or wasabi paste, and adjusting the amount of lemon zest or other seasonings to taste.
- Try adding different types of cheese, such as Parmesan or blue cheese, for a savory and umami-rich flavor profile.
Tips for Making Compound Butter
- When making compound butter, be sure to use quality ingredients, such as fresh herbs and high-quality butter.
- Try to stick to one flavor profile at a time when combining different seasonings and spices to avoid creating too much complexity or overpowering any single ingredient.
- Let the butter come to room temperature before using it, as the colder butter will be harder to work with and may result in lumps or uneven distribution of ingredients.
Have you ever tried compound butter with dried herbs? If not, give this recipe a try and let us know what you thought.
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Compound Butter For Turkey
- 4 sticks Salted Butter 1 pound
- 2 tsp Chicken Bouillon Powder
- 2 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp Garlic fresh chopped
- 2 tbsp Rosemary Fresh Chopped
- 2 Tbsp Sage Fresh Chopped
- 2 tbsp Parsley Fresh Chopped
- 2 tsp Thyme Fresh Chopped
- 1 lemon Juice and zest
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire
- Let butter come to room temperature until completely soft.
- Chop all of your fresh herbs and garlic and add to the bowl along with butter and remaining ingredients.
- use a spatula to mash all the ingredients together so everything is well combined.
Delicious. Sooooo delicious.
Thank you so much!! everything is better with butter
I attempted this…….how do you get the herb butter to stick to the skin of the turkey?? I am a pretty darn good cook and couldn’t get it to stick for nothing. I ended up just stuffing the butter under the skin and it was incredible. I smoked the turkey in my pellet grill and myself and my guests Loved it. Any help with how to get the butter to stick on the skin??
the key to getting the butter to stick is making sure the skin is bone dry. I put on gloves and start smearing the butter on with my hands. its definitely a messy job coating the bird with butter but keeping it dry and using your hands to smear on the butter are my best tips
How do you make gravy cooking the bird this way? Don’t you just end up with a greasy mess in the pan?
You can use a fat separator and just keep the stock
Yeah I tried that too. But that still didn’t work. 🤦♀️I used a butter knife and that helped some. But also the butter is warm and the turkey is cold so it will also fall off if you touch it again. And I had it bone dry. I finally had to use a cooking spray for the areas I couldn’t get too. We’ll see how the turkey turns out. I put the butter under the skin as well.