Bon Appétit Magazine: November Cover Recipe

Salt-Roasted Turkey with Lemon & Oregano, and Rosemary Bread Stuffing with Speck, Fennel & Lemon

Rating: 5 out of 5 (revolutionized my opinion of turkey!)

Initial Thoughts:
All year long I have been dreading the November issue because I knew it would involve cooking a whole turkey. Wish me luck!

The Test:
Considering I waited until February to attempt this recipe, my procrastination must be obvious. A whole turkey. Yikes.

First of all, I have never bothered cooking an entire turkey as I am not the biggest fan of this particular type of poultry. Combined with my painful childhood memories of flavourless sawdust dry birds each holiday, is it any wonder my expectations were low? Nonetheless I committed to a year’s worth of cover recipes so what the hell…what’s the worst that can happen?!

The recipe calls for rubbing the turkey with a citrus and herb salt mixture and leaving it overnight. The reason is because as the turkey sits, the salt draws moisture to the skin and while cooking creates a flavourful liquid that seasons the meat and keeps it moist. I was very interested in tasting the result of this particular technique, as we usually brine our poultry for maximum flavour and moisture.

Prepping the turkey on the day of my impromptu Thanksgiving Dinner in February was quick and easy. The ingredients for stuffing into the cavity of the bird consisted of chopped lemons, celery, onion, and fresh herbs. An olive oil and lemon juice glaze was then brushed over the turkey while it cooked. In mere minutes of putting the turkey in the oven my kitchen started to smell divine!

Now for the stuffing.

This recipe is great as it can be prepared ahead of time and then baked once the turkey is done and resting. Be warned that there are several elements involved in making the stuffing, including pre-toasting the rosemary bread, soaking and cooking off raisins in wine, as well as sautéing the fennel, shallot and speck mixture. NOTE: I was unable to find speck (a lightly smoked, cured pork) so substituted prosciutto instead.

The Results: Oh. My. Goodness.

This was hands down the BEST turkey dinner I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. Damn. Why had I procrastinated in making this recipe for so long?!

The turkey was moist and full of a lovely herbaceous citrusy flavour that was strong enough to hold up to the turkey taste but in no way overpowered the dish. It also rendered the most amazing pan drippings that resulted in fantastic gravy. Delicious!

The stuffing was also a huge hit at the table, and made a nice change from the usual traditional version. This recipe produced a light, flavour-packed side that went well with the Greek-inspired turkey, Two-Toned Mashed Potatoes and my mom’s famous Cranberry Sauce.

My first full on turkey dinner and it was a success! Well done to the Bon Appétit team who came up with these ingenious recipes.

For a copy of the recipe for Salt-Roasted Turkey with Lemon & Oregano please click HERE, and for the Rosemary Bread Stuffing with Speck, Fennel & Lemon please click HERE

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