Features, Cooking Column, Homemade On The Heights

Homemade on The Heights: Friendsgiving Turkey

I am in an exceptional mood that not even the 5 p.m. darkness can ruin because my favorite holiday is near. As the precursor to the holiday season, Thanksgiving has the coziness and excitement of fall festivities, minus the impending post-holiday depression. In other words, Thanksgiving is the appetizer to the most wonderful time of the year. So why wait until the last Thursday of November to celebrate? As eager as I am for my actual Thanksgiving dinner, I am arguably more excited for my Friendsgiving celebration. 

Friendsgiving is a time to cherish friendships while simultaneously testing recipes for the big day. If you’re feeling rusty, it’s the perfect opportunity to warm up your cooking skills. Because I am the resident chef of my dorm, I’ve been entrusted with the most critical part of the evening: the turkey. It seems like the most high-stakes task, but it’s surprisingly simple, and dare I say, the easiest. The oven is responsible for most of the work, so your job is just to keep an eye on the turkey as it roasts. It may seem mildly audacious to roast a whole turkey in your college kitchen, so I considered more elementary recipe ideas while brainstorming, but I ultimately decided to go big or go home. It’s not Thanksgiving, or even Friendsgiving for that matter, without a turkey as the centerpiece of your table. And if you need evidence to convince you that roasting a turkey in your college kitchen is possible, then I am here to be your living proof. 

(Photo Courtesy of Jenny Fox)

Dish: Herb and Garlic Roasted Turkey


  • A turkey (I used an 18.5 lb turkey) 
  • Two sticks butter 
  • One bunch thyme 
  • One bunch rosemary 
  • One bunch sage 
  • One large yellow onion 
  • One head of garlic 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil 
  • Garlic powder 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The turkey will cook at 13 minutes multiplied by however many pounds the turkey is. 
  2. Clean and dry the turkey. The turkey should be completely thawed and dry to ensure crisp skin. 
  3. Stuff the cavity with a bundle of sage, thyme, and rosemary, followed by half of a head of garlic. Lastly, place a quartered onion into the cavity. 
  4. Mix softened butter and olive oil with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Lather between turkey skin and breasts, then around the exterior of the turkey. 
  5. Place the turkey in the oven for two hours and then remove to baste with the drippings from the pan.
  6. Replace in the oven until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  7. Let the turkey rest for 45 minutes uncovered. 
  8. Carve and serve!
November 14, 2023