The secret to making a great turkey is the margarine/olive oil and herb mash I make and then spread all over the bird (and under the skin). Here’s what I put in it:

2-3 sticks of margarine
olive oil (to loosen it)
piles of fresh herbs: sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled
seasoned salt
pepper
squeeze in some of the lemon juice to help smooth it out or add some of the lemon zest.

Loosen the turkey skin and spread the mixture underneath the skin, all over and in the cavity. Reserve any extra mixture to saute veggies for the stuffing. Put a couple of lemon halves inside the cavity. Turn the bird upside down and roast at 350F until done. It took 3 1/2 hours for my 20-pound bird to cook.

Please note: I don’t stuff the bird. I use turkey stock when making the stuffing on the stove, and then bake it separately. It tastes great!

Nov. 24, 2006.