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Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey

carley smith fairy gutmother thanksgiving turkey

Fairy Gutmother, Carley Smith, teaches us to make a lovely homecooked turkey and encourages us to see the simplicity in the project. Carley makes this recipe a couple of times a year because it is great for meal prepping and repurposing with vegetables for bone broth. Pasture-raised and with no hormones or antibiotics, US Wellness Meats turkeys provide ample nutrients and support sustainable farming.

This turkey is flavorful and juicy with locked-in moisture from the herb butter spread. Showcase one of these excellent turkeys at your next family gathering by following Carley’s video below. 

Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey

Recipe & Photos by Carley Smith | Fairy Gutmother 

USWM Shopping List: Pasture-Raised Turkey, Grass-fed Butter, Chicken Bone Broth


  • Pasture-Raised Turkey
  • Herb Butter (for coating and stuffing the turkey)
  • 3 cups Chicken Bone Broth
  • Chopped vegetables (for stuffing the turkey and lining the baking dish)
    • Sweet potato, celery, carrot, onion
  • Poultry seasoning blend, 1 Tbsp each
    • Sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, mustard powder, oregano, and black pepper


  1. Make sure your turkey is thawed thoroughly, about 24 hours for each 4-5 pounds. Carley’s turkey in this video was 20 lbs, so she thawed for 4-5 days. 
  2. Before getting started with the turkey, blend about 1.5-2 cups of room-temperature butter with garlic and fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage. 
  3. Time to start on the turkey: lay the turkey on its back and pat it dry with a paper towel. Starting at the bottom of the turkey, use your fingers to pull the skin away from the meat, gently working along the bird to prepare for the herb and butter mixture. (See this demonstrated in the video.)
  4. Add the butter to lock in moisture and flavor! Spread about half of the room-temp herb butter mixture under the skin. Then apply an even coat to the outside of the turkey with the remaining half of the blend. Use any extra butter to stuff into the inside of the turkey. 
  5. Whisk together a poultry seasoning blend with about a tablespoon of each: sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, mustard powder, oregano, and black pepper. Generously season the turkey with 1/2 of the seasoning blend. Tip: the higher up your hold your hand as you season, the more evenly it might be (see video). 
  6. Chop the veggies (sweet potato, celery, carrot, and onion) and season with the remaining spices, then stuff into the turkey along with additional herbs leftover from the herb butter blend (rosemary, thyme, sage).
  7. Use butcher string to tie the turkey’s legs together.
  8. Prepare the roasting dish: line the bottom of the dish with the remaining vegetables, pour a few cups of chicken bone broth (1-2 inches in the bottom of the pan) and place the baking rack liners in the dish that the turkey sits above the vegetables. 
  9. Once the turkey is settled on the rack, cover the entire dish with foil and place in the 350°F oven for 18 minutes per pound (4-5.5 hours), removing the foil halfway through. 
  10. When the outside of the turkey is golden brown with crispy skin and the inside temperature is 165°F, remove the turkey from the oven.
  11. Carve away and prepare to be amazed! Thanks, Fairy Gutmother! 


Trot over to the Discover Blog and browse nutritious recipes, including Repurposing Your Thanksgiving Turkey and Turkey Bone Broth


carley smith, fairy gutmother

Carley Smith

Carley Smith, aka The Fairy Gutmother, is a Nutritional Therapist and Certified GAPS Practitioner with a passion for helping others improve their gut & immune health. Carley was diagnosed with Lyme disease and practiced the ancient art of healing through food. Please visit Carley’s Featured Chef page and Fairy Gutmother for more information.