Turketta

Okay, so, I just want to emotionally prepare you for this: This is the best turkey I've ever had. It's juicy beyond belief, crazy flavorful, and the skin--oh, Lord, the skin!--is insanely crispy. And just to convince you that I'm not full of it, I had three different people try it and they agree with me, so, you know: science. This is basically a porchetta recipe, but with turkey thighs instead of pork. The flavor profile of fresh herbs, fennel, and white wine are brilliant with turkey, and the slow cooking technique gives you extra-crispy skin. Also, it's sort of a no-fail situation. Because they're all thighs, you don't need to worry about inconsistent cooking. You can scale this recipe up or down as much as you want, though guessing about 1/2 pound per serving is pretty safe. I usually suggest brining no matter what, but I was lazy and skipped it when testing this, and the thighs were still super juicy and delicious. So I'd say, brine if you like, but not necessary with this one.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr 20 min (includes resting time and optional chilling time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

20 fresh sage leaves

3 thyme sprigs, leaves removed

3 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed

2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons medium coarse sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 boneless, skin-on turkey thighs (not tied; each about 1 pound)

12 (foot-long) pieces kitchen twine

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Crush the fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle (or grind in a spice grinder) until finely ground; transfer to a food processor. Add the sage, thyme and rosemary leaves and garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add the salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper and pulse until well combined; transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the turkey skin-side down in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and slather about a third of the herb mixture on the flesh side. Tie each turkey thigh at even intervals with 3 pieces of the kitchen twine, applying slight pressure with the twine to create an even shape. Trim any excess twine. Brush the oil all over the skin then rub the remaining herb mixture all over the turkey. Place the turkey in the baking pan, seam-side down. For even crispier skin, refrigerate the turkey uncovered at least 1 hour and preferably up to overnight to dry out the skin.
  4. Roast the turkey for 1 hour. Pour the wine over the turkey and baste with the wine and accumulated juices. Continue roasting, basting every 30 minutes, until the skin is lightly golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the deepest part of a thigh registers 160 to 165 degrees F, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more. Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees F, and roast until the skin is crispy and golden brown, 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Remove the twine, slice the turketta and serve. 
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