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 (recipe coming soon for how to put those turkey leftovers to great use!)
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.