Herb Slathered & Sprinkled Roast Turkey

It’s taken me a while to try this method of gently lifting up the turkey skin on the breast meat and spreading the herbs underneath.  Do try this, you’ll be quite happy with the outcome. A turkey cooks at about 20-30 minutes per pound but please consult a turkey timetable for exact specifications. 

Turkey Pan Ingredients:
10-14 lb. turkey, innards removed & used however you wish
2-3 Carrots, cut into large chunks
2-3 Celery ribs, cut into large chunks (use tops too)
1 Lemon or orange , zested then cut into 6-8 chunks – set aside the zest
1 cup chicken stock or water (you may need more stock later, during cooking)
1  onion, peeled and cut into chunks
2 whole garlic bulbs or heaping Tbsp. of minced

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse turkey in cool water and pat dry; place in roasting pan on a rack if possible. Add all the pan ingredients. Now begin the herbed slathering.

Herbed Slathering:
1 cup fresh parsley (please don’t use dried)
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp. fresh sage
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
1  onion, peeled and cut into chunks
The left over lemon or orange zest from above pan ingredients
1 heaping Tbsp. of minced garlic
3 Tbsp. extra virgin (or just regular) olive oil + more for brushing
A pair of latex or latex-free gloves if you wish – this gets messy!

Place all these ingredients in a food processor or blender then give it a blitz. Put on the gloves if using. Gently lift up the skin of the bird (you may need to separate the skin from the bird with a small, sharp knife) and spread blobs of the slather in. You will probably have some left over, if so then place in and on bird and spread around. Remove the gloves then pour a little bit (maybe 1/4 cup or less) of oil into a small bowl and brush all over the bird.  Now you’re ready for the sprinklings.

Seasoning Sprinklings:
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black or white pepper
Sprinklings of poultry seasoning
Sprinklings of garlic powder
Sprinklings of paprika

Now, cover loosely with aluminum foil and place on the lowest rack of your oven for about an hour before you open the oven door for the first peek. Keep checking the bird at 30 minute intervals because you want to make sure the liquid in the bottom of the pan has not all cooked away – add 1 cup of chicken broth or water at a time into the bottom of the pan to replenish and don’t forget to baste, baste, baste – every 30 minutes or so! If you don’t, you may have a sawdust turkey.

Take the foil off at about 1 hour until estimated done time – it’ll crisp up nicely. Discard/strain all the veggies in the pan if you will be using the drippings for gravy. Once you take the bird out of the oven you can let it sit for a good 30-45 minutes on a cutting board on your counter during which you make the gravy, heat the stuffing, etc. Don’t panic, a turkey can mellow on the counter for a little while awaiting you. Just enjoy the day!


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