Thanksgiving is just around the corner! What’s your usual main entrée for your Thanksgiving feast? If it’s roast turkey, maybe you’d like to spruce up your tradition, and have a slightly different (and more flavorful) take on the classic. If so, this recipe is just the thing for you! With the application of a tasty rub of herbs and spices, you’ll have a delicious main dish for your holiday meal, as well as fabulous leftovers for the days after – check out my Tuscan Turkey Stew for a delicious way to use up those leftovers!
Herb Rubbed Turkey
- 8 stalks celery
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 head garlic peeled
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- ¾ cup duck fat or butter, softened (not melted)
- ½ cup white wine divided
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- ½ cup chicken bone broth
- 2 Tbsp sea salt
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 16 pound turkey pasture-raised heritage breed
Prepare the rub: (this part can be done up to a few days ahead of time)
- Trim the ends off the celery stalks, scallions, and garlic cloves.
- Coarsely chop celery and scallions for easier handling by food processor.
- Affix S-blade to your food processor.
- Add celery, scallions, garlic, and parsley to food processor, and pulse until all are finely chopped.
- Add duck fat (or butter), sea salt and black pepper.
- Process mixture until smooth.
- Add ¼ cup of white wine and process mixture again briefly until mixture is well combined.
Prepare the turkey:
- Before you begin, make sure your turkey is fully thawed. The best method for this is in the fridge, 1 day per 5-6 pounds (3 days for a 16 pound turkey).
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Gently run your hands between the skin and meat over the whole body of the bird - your goal is to create a space between the skin and meat for the rub, while not tearing the skin.
- Take small handfuls of the herb paste and cover every meaty surface with the bright green mixture.
- Put the skin back in place, covering all of the meat and rub.
- In a small bowl, add avocado oil, remaining ¼ cup of white wine, and broth, and whisk to combine.
- Brush skin liberally with this mixture (you'll have some left over and will use this for basting as the bird cooks.)
- Place turkey in roasting pan. Optional: If you have a baking rack, use this under the turkey for crispier skin all over and more even cooking.
- Baste the turkey (with the remaining fat-wine-broth mixture) every 30-45 minutes throughout the baking time. Don't baste more often, or you'll lose too much heat from the oven and lengthen the cooking time considerably.
- IMPORTANT NOTE ON COOKING TIME: Pasture-raised and heritage breed turkeys typically cook faster than "conventional" (supermarket) turkeys, so monitor frequently during the last 1 hour of cooking time so it doesn't get overdone.
- Remove turkey from oven, loosely tent with foil, and set aside to rest for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 hours, to let juices re-absorb. This ensures that the whole turkey is properly, evenly cooked, and it significantly enhances the flavor and juiciness of the turkey!
- Carve and serve.