What makes this the ultimate turkey? Two words: garlic schmaltz. We start with lots of roasted garlic then add chicken or turkey schmaltz (see: how to render poultry fat) and fresh herbs. It makes a flavorful basting liquid to create the ultimate Thanksgiving turkey. If you’re short on chicken or turkey fat, use a little evoo to make up the difference.
Use veggies as a roasting pan “rack” to help your turkey get a crisp, golden skin. Scatter celery, carrots, and onions on the bottom of the pan to keep the bird from sitting in its own juices and getting soggy.
To make this turkey truly the ultimate, serve it with our rich Porcini Mushroom Gravy.
NOTE: If using an heirloom turkey, like one from Grow & Behold, they are lean and cook quickly. Budget 12 minutes per pound, at 325°F for best results!
Make sure to use a great quality extra virgin olive oil. We love Colavita!
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 8 to 10Servings
- 3 heads of garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, such as Colavita
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups rendered chicken or turkey fat (see note under photo)
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, needles stripped and chopped
- 12 sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 bunch thyme sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped
- Veggies for bottom of pan: 2 cups chopped celery, 2 cups chopped carrots, 1 onion cut in eighths
- 16-pound turkey, thawed and at room temperature
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked pepper
- 1 orange, cut into quarters
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- Several rosemary sprigs
- 1 bunch of thyme sprigs
- 2 heads of garlic
- Garlic schmaltz
- Special equipment: large roasting pan (with or without a rack) and butcher’s twine.
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Slice ¼ inch off the top of a head of garlic, exposing the tops of the cloves inside. Drizzle cut garlic with 1 tablespoon evoo, and wrap in foil. Roast at 375°F for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the garlic is lightly browned, soft and very fragrant.
3. Squeeze garlic from the bulbs and mash it with a fork. Stir poultry fat (see: how to render poultry fat) into mashed garlic, then add herbs.
4. Chill mixture for 2 hours or overnight. Garlic schmaltz can be frozen for up to 2 months.
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. If using an Heirloom Turkey, like one from Grow & Behold, preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Place celery, carrots, and onion in the bottom of a large roasting pan.
3. Pull out neck and giblets. Reserve. Place turkey in a roasting pan (on top of rack, or if no rack, on top of vegetables). Rub turkey with salt and pepper on the outside and in the cavity. Tuck wings underneath the turkey.
4. Stuff cavity with orange, onion, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Tie legs together with butcher’s twine.
5. Generously rub turkey all over with garlic schmaltz. Save some for basting during cooking.
6. Roast turkey and neck at 375°F, basting occasionally with garlic schmaltz, for 3½ hours, or when a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 170°F. Start checking the temperature at 3 hours.
Remove from oven, and tent turkey loosely with foil. Rest for 20 minutes.
7. Remove string, herbs, and vegetables from the cavity and discard. Pour pan drippings into a saucepan and skim fat from the surface. Reduce pan drippings until they coat the back of a spoon for a natural pan jus. Carve turkey and serve with pan jus or rich Porcini Mushroom Gravy.
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