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From Sunset Magazine. It won their first place for best turkey in the Nov 2005 issue. I made this turkey that year and it was a big success. I decided I wanted to make it again but it wasn't here yet. Here it is for your pleasure. The instructions say to use a turkey not infused with broth or butter. Adjust the cooking time according to the size of your turkey.
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt or 3 tablespoons sea salt
- 3 tablespoons dried marjoram
- 3 tablespoons dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons juniper berries
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 1 (14 -15 lb) whole turkey
- 12 fresh rosemary sprigs (3 inches each)
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
- THREE DAYS BEFORE serving, finely grind salt, marjoram, thyme, juniper berries, peppercorns and anise seeds.
- Remove and discard leg truss from turkey. Pull off and discard any lumps of fat. Remove giblets and neck and save them for gravy if desired. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry. Cut off wing tips to the first joint and reserve for gravy. Rub half of the herb mixture all over turkey; sprinkle remaining in body cavity. Cover and chill for 3 days.
- ON TURKEY DAY Preheat oven to 325 F (convection not recommended). Put rosemary sprigs and garlic inside body cavity. Gently separate skin from breast. Spread about half of the butter over breast under the skin. Melt remaining butter and brush lightly over top of turkey. Coat a V-shaped rack with cooking-oil spray and set in roasting pan. Place turkey, breast down, on the rack. Roast turkey for about 3 hours.
- Meanwhile you can boil the wing tips and giblits if you are making gravy.
- After 2 hours, turn turkey breast side up. Roast until a meat thermometer insterted into the thickest part of breast or thigh registers 185F (original recipe stated 160F but I got major flack for having an underdone turkey!).
- Tip turkey to drain juices from cavity into pan and transer to a platter. Let rest in a warm place, uncovered, for 15-30 minutes. Finish gravy, then carve turkey.
Yummmy! The flavors of this recipe are really special, but the best part is that the meat actually soaks those flavors up so you can taste it in every bite! I used this recipe with just a turkey breat rather than a whole turkey so I made half the rub and didn't quite use it all. I did rub it 3 days before cooking which I think was the perfect amount of time. I added some of the rosemary to the rub mixture and also tucked the sprigs under the breast while it was cooking since I didn't have the cavity to stuff it in. As for the temp, for a whole turkey you want to take the temp in the thigh and make sure it's at 180. For a breast a temp of 165 is all you need. I like to take mine out about 5 degrees lower and let it come up to temp out of the oven to avaoid overcooking.