Lemon and Herb Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

Total Time:
30 hr 30 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
26 hr 30 min
Cook:
3 hr 40 min

Yield:
10 to 12 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Turkey:
  • One 12- to 14-pound fresh turkey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced shallots
  • Grated zest of 6 lemons (use 3 of the zested lemons below)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Roasting:
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 lemons, halved
  • 1 shallot, halved
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • Water or stock, for the roasting pan
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Directions
  • For the turkey: Twenty-four hours before cooking your turkey, liberally season the inside and outside of the bird with salt and pepper. Using a mini chopper or mortar and pestle, grind the oregano, parsley, tarragon, sumac, thyme, shallots and lemon zest together with some salt and pepper; the salt will help draw the moisture and flavor from the mixture. Add the olive oil to form a paste. Spread the herb mixture all around the inside and outside of the turkey. Refrigerate the turkey, uncovered to dry the skin, for 24 hours.

  • For the roasting: Remove the turkey from the fridge 90 minutes before roasting and allow it to come to room temperature.

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

  • Season the turkey again with salt and pepper. Put the parsley and thyme sprigs in the cavity with the lemon and shallot halves.

  • Put the carrots, celery and onions in the bottom of a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack. Add a cup of water or stock to the bottom of the pan. Add the turkey to the rack and roast, adding a little more water or stock to the pan if necessary to prevent the drippings from burning, for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to roast, basting the turkey with the pan drippings every 30 minutes, until the thickest part of the leg registers an internal temperature of 155 degrees F, another 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Allow the bird to rest, tented with foil, for at least 1 hour before carving. The temperature will rise to about 165 degrees F during resting.

  • Pour the pan drippings into a saucepan, set the pan over medium-high heat and cook until reduced by one-half, about 10 minutes. Stir in the butter until melted. Pour the reduced turkey drippings over the carved turkey just before serving.


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    This recipe is featured in:

    The Kitchen