Sunday, November 24, 2013

Compound Herb Butter

Compound butter is a Fancy Nancy way of saying butter with stuff in it. It's sounds a lot more involved than it actually is. Making it is not complicated whatsoever.  But don't let it's simplicity fool you. It's this little, uncomplicated, butter that lends its flavor to all of the things that make Thanksgiving taste like Thanksgiving.

This particular compound butter I make the night before Thanksgiving.  I flavor it with the same herbs I use to roast my turkey, the same herbs I use to season my homemade turkey stock, and it's these same herbs that will flavor my pan gravy... Because this butter? Is what gets it all started.

I use this butter to coat the turkey; all over the top of the skin to help brown it, under the skin to keep the meat moist, and in the cavity to create flavorful drippings.  I use this butter, as it's melting, to baste the turkey throughout its roasting time. And finally? It's this butter, after the turkey has finished roasting and it's picked up every last morsel of flavor, that I use as the fat to form the base of my pan gravy.

Because this butter? Is the mainstay of my Thanksgiving. 


1 lb (4 sticks) of butter, softened
1 bunch of rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
1 bunch Italian parsley, leaves stripped, and chopped
1 bunch of thyme, leaves stripped

Once butter is soft enough to be malleable, in a large bowl, use your hands to mix in fresh herbs with butter. Knead until evenly combined. Shape into a rough cylinder and wrap with Saran Wrap. 

Refrigerate overnight. 

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