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Terrific Roasted French Turkey With Champagne and Herbs

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terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs on a white plate ready for carving.

Roasting a whole turkey seems like a daunting task, but this easy recipe guide will show you everything you need to know. This terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs has tender and flavorful meat, and a crisp brown skin. It makes a wonderful addition to any holiday meal. We love turkey for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any family meal.

And let me tell you about the delicious juices from the turkey, champagne, and vegetable broth that are created in the cooking process at the bottom of the roasting pan. Use those juices to make the best gravy ever. It is made with a similar process to making a béchamel sauce.

What Is French About This Terrific Roasted French Turkey With Champagne and Herbs

French herbs and French champagne to make terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs.

This turkey is a beautiful 15-pound bird. What makes it French is the wonderful combination of Herbs de Provence sprinkled on top and the sparkling pour of French champagne. The champagne is poured over the top right before roasting creating a lovely browning effect and crispy skin. 

Cooking with champagne is a wonderful and tasty thing. I used Andre Champagne which is crisp, simple, slightly sweet, and a good price. The carbonation adds a bubbly coating to the top of the turkey skin helping it turn a beautiful golden brown. You can use any brand of champagne you like or white French wine. 

Herbs To Choose For This Terrific Roasted French Turkey With Champagne and Herbs

Making an herbal bouquet to stuff the turkey with is essential. Sage is an herb that I always use for turkey, every summer I harvest loads of sage and let it dry right on the stems. Just grab a couple of stems and add any others with flavors you like. My herb bundle consists of sage, rosemary, and lavender.

Here are some suggestions for herbs:

  • Fresh thyme
  • Lavender 
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Savory
  • French tarragon
  • Basil
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Lemon balm

Whatever you decide for your herb bundle is perfect. Availability and accessibility of different herbs change with location and season. Experiment and use whatever you have. 

What To Stuff A Turkey With

Cutting board with sliced citrus and fennel to stuff a terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs.

There are many things used to stuff a turkey cavity. Traditionally a dressing made with bread or cornbread is stuffed into the turkey. I love to stuff mine with fresh fennel, loads of citrus, and an abundance of herbs. These ingredients make the pan juices heavenly for gravy making. The taste is light and fresh with an aroma to match. 

The citrus- Orange juice and lemon juice help the Thanksgiving turkey to have juicy meat and the fennel enhances the flavors in the bottom of the pan. Herbs and citrus are more common stuffers in French turkey recipes and are a great way to brighten up the main course. This turkey is a favorite during the holiday season. 

Ingredients For Terrific Roasted French Turkey With Champagne and Herbs

Ingredients to make a terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs.

Here are the ingredients for this roasted turkey recipe:

  • 15-pound turkey
  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
  • Herb bundle- rosemary, sage, and lavender
  • Oranges and lemons
  • Whole fennel
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Half a bottle of Champagne
  • 2 cups of broth

Notes:

  • A 15-pound bird yields enough turkey meat to feed around 8-10 people. 
  • This turkey was frozen and took 3 full days to thaw (make sure you keep it in a container to catch juices). I let it sit until almost room temperature before I roasted it. 
  • Use any herbs you like for the herb bundle.
  • Use either chicken stock or vegetable stock for the broth.
  • Add as much dried herbs as you like. Make your own mix in a small bowl if you want.  
  • A roasting rack can be used, but I prefer my turkey to sit in the juices.
  • If using unsalted butter, you will need to increase the salt. 

Extra Ingredients That Can Be Added To The Turkey

  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Whole garlic head, garlic cloves, or garlic powder
  • Bay leaves
  • Maple Syrup – about a heaping tablespoon drizzled on top
  • Kosher salt

Instructions On How To Make A Terrific Roasted French Turkey With Champagne and Herbs

This is a step-by-step guide to roasting your French turkey. You’ll need an instant-read thermometer (or digital meat thermometer)  to ensure a moist turkey. To save time, go through step 6 the night before, cover, and put in the refrigerator overnight. 

1. Place turkey on a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Remove the neck from the cavity and the gizzards from the front flap. 

Raw turkey to be dressed for roasting.

2. Wet a piece of cotton cooking twine truss (or tie) the wings down and bring the cord forward to finish after stuffing. 

3. Slice the citrus and the fennel into smaller bits and fill the cavity with them and the herb bundle. 

Stuffing a terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs .

4. Pat the top of the turkey dry with some paper towels.

5. Separate the skin from the turkey breast meat with a gloved hand and shove a whole stick of butter (flattened into a disc) in there. Take the string and tuck the skin back over the breasts tying it in place and then cross the legs and tie them together. 

Putting butter between the skin and the turkey breasts.

6. Take the remaining butter and smear it all over the outside of the turkey until you have a buttery skin. Sprinkle the Herbs de Provence and the salt & pepper. (can store covered in the refrigerator overnight at this point). Place the turkey in the bottom of a large roasting pan. 

Putting herbs on a terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs .

7. Pour 1/2 bottle of champagne over the entire turkey. Next, add 2 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable) to the bottom of the roasting pan. 

Pouring champagne over a turkey before roasting.

8. Take a large piece of aluminum foil (I use 2 pieces folded together) and tent the turkey so it isn’t touching it but keeps in the steam inside.

Large turkey tent of aluminum foil.

9. Roast the turkey for the first hour of cooking at 400 degrees F. Then turn the oven temperature to 350 degrees and roast until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees. Baste the turkey frequently. This 15-pound turkey took a total of 4 1/2 hours. Let the turkey rest for 1/2 hour before carving to allow the juices to redistribute. 

terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs in a roasting pan.

Tips: 

Baste the turkey every 30-60 minutes. This is so important to keep the turkey moist and the skin crisp. I kept the turkey covered in its tent loosely towards the end. 

Basting a terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs in the oven.

-You can go through step 6 the night before to save time the next day.

-Cooking time will vary depending on your oven and the size of the bird. 

Make The Turkey Gravy

Make this easy gravy (similar to a bechamel sauce)

Pretty china gravy boat with delicious gravy from the juices of a terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs.
  • Pour all the juice and meat juices into a large glass measuring cup and let the juices (bottom) and fat (top) separate.
  • In a large frying pan (or sauce pan) over medium heat, to high heat (12″ cast iron skillet) and using the baster – put about 4 tablespoons of the fat. Add 4 tablespoons of flour and whisk to make a roux. Cook for a minute or two.
  • Take the baster and holding the suction, slide it past the fat layer and into the juice. Take about 2 cups of the juice and add it to the roux, stirring constantly. Bring to a low simmer and let thicken – stirring often – about 5 minutes. 
  • Taste if you need to add any seasonings. I don’t usually need to – it is so good.
  • Pour it into your gravy boat and serve with dinner. 

How To Serve Roasted Terrific Roasted French Turkey With Champagne and Herbs

Beautiful arrangement of a terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs and side dishes on a wooden board. Overhead view.

This terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs is the star of the show. But every main course needs some delicious side dishes. Here are my suggestions to serve with this perfect turkey recipe on a carving board:

How To Store And Reheat Terrific Roasted French Turkey With Champagne and Herbs

Sliced turkey meat on a platter.

​Carve all of the meat off the turkey bones. Save all the bones to make bone broth. Take the leftover turkey meat and put it in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or into a large freezer storage bag and freeze it for up to six months. 

Reheat leftover turkey either in the microwave or in a microwave-safe dish on 60% power at 30-second intervals until hot. Or reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees until hot. If using the oven method, put a tablespoon of butter or olive oil on it to keep it from drying out. 

What To Do With Leftover Turkey

Leftover turkey is a gift from the gods! There are so many ways to use this beautiful bird meat. Here are some suggestions:

  • Turkey sandwiches – slice some sourdough bread and add cherry-cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and some gouda cheese to make an epic turkey-cheese sandwich.
  • Turkey soup – change up the chicken for turkey and make an amazing noodle soup. 
  • Have another turkey dinner!
  • Turkey tetrazzini – make this delicious pasta dish.
  • Turkey stuffed peppers – try this recipe and swap the beef for some turkey.
  • Turkey Pot Pie
  • Shepherd’s Pie with turkey – just swap the beef for turkey and use gravy or chicken stock.
  • Turkey salad – replace the chicken in chicken salad with turkey (one of my favorites).
  • Turkey Chili- so good with white meat!
  • Turkey Enchiladas – try this recipe and swap out the chicken for turkey.

Wrapping Up Terrific Roasted French Turkey With Champagne and Herbs

terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs on a platter with carving utensils.

Whether you are celebrating with old friends or new ones, this terrific roasted French turkey with champagne and herbs is going to be the star of the show any time of year. The best turkey dinner is one filled with delicious side dishes and lots of laughter. Show off your culinary skills and make a holiday turkey for everyone to enjoy. 

Bon Appétit!

Cheers, Sarah

Recipe Card For Terrific Roasted French Turkey With Champagne and Herbs

5 from 2 votes

Terrific Roasted French Turkey With Champagne and Herbs

A beautiful roasted turkey stuffed with citrus, fennel, and herbs with champagne pured over the top. Incrediably tender and delicious meat with a crisp skin.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time:4 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 15- pound turkey
  • 2 sticks of butter 1 cup
  • Herb bundle- rosemary sage, and lavender
  • Oranges and lemons
  • Whole fennel
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Half a bottle of Champagne
  • 2 cups of broth

Instructions

  • Place turkey on a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Remove the neck from the cavity and the gizzards from the front flap.
  • Wet a piece of cotton cooking twine truss (or tie) the wings down and bring the cord forward to finish after stuffing.
  • Slice the citrus and the fennel into smaller bits and fill the cavity with them and the herb bundle.
  • Pat the top of the turkey dry with some paper towels.
  • Separate the skin from the turkey breast meat with a gloved hand and shove a whole stick of butter (flattened into a disc) in there. Take the string and tuck the skin back over the breasts tying it in place and then cross the legs and tie them together.
  • Take the remaining butter and smear it all over the outside of the turkey until you have a buttery skin. Sprinkle the Herbs de Provence and the salt & pepper. (can store covered in the refrigerator overnight at this point). Place the turkey in the bottom of a large roasting pan.
  • Pour 1/2 bottle of champagne over the entire turkey. Next, add 2 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable) to the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Take a large piece of aluminum foil (I use 2 pieces folded together) and tent the turkey so it isn’t touching it but keeps in the steam inside.
  • Roast the turkey for the first hour of cooking at 400 degrees F. Then turn the oven temperature to 350 degrees and roast until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees. Mine took a total of 4 1/2 hours. Let the turkey rest for 1/2 hour before carving to redistribute the juices.

Notes

  • A 15-pound bird yields enough turkey meat to feed around 8-10 people. 
  • This turkey was frozen and took 3 full days to thaw (make sure you keep it in a container to catch juices). I let it sit until almost room temperature before I roasted it. 
  • Use any herbs you like for the herb bundle.
  • Use either chicken stock or vegetable stock for the broth.
  • Add as much dried herbs as you like. Make your own herbal mix in a small bowl if you want.  
  • A roasting rack can be used, but I prefer my turkey to sit in the juices.
  • If using unsalted butter, you will need to increase the salt.
  • Baste the turkey every 30-60 minutes. This is so important to keep the turkey moist and the skin crisp. I kept the turkey covered in its tent loosely towards the end.
  • You can go through step 6 the night before to save time the next day.
  • Cooking time will vary depending on your oven and the size of the bird. 
     
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: CHampagne turkey, holiday main course, Roasted Turkey, Thanksgiving turkey
Servings: 8 people
Author: Sarah

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