Salt-Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Oregano

As has often been the case in recent years, I hosted Thanksgiving for our family this year.  My parents and sister came to dine at my house, while my other sister, brother-in-law, and their kids remained in Ohio.  I was trying to figure out how to make my turkey and came across this recipe from the November 2010 Bon Appetit magazine that I had clipped six years ago and decided to try it out.

I ordered a fresh turkey for the first time, from New Pioneer Food Co-op, and in the style of our family, I did the dry-brining on the Monday before Thanksgiving and cooked it on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving so that we didn’t have to deal with the carving and mess of the turkey on the table the day-of.  Plus, I was able to put together a stock on Wednesday with which to make my gravy.

Salt-Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Oregano.jpg

Salt-Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Oregano


1/3 c coarse kosher salt
2 Tbsp fresh oregano
2 Tbsp lemon peel
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp black pepper


14-16 lb turkey
3 lemons, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c olive oil, divided
6 Tbsp lemon juice, divided
3.5-4.5 Turkey stock

Rinse turkey.  Pull out metal insert that holds legs and remove fat pads from neck and main cavities.  Sprinkle 4 Tbsp salt rub inside cavities.  Slide bird into turkey-size oven bag.  Sprinkle remaining salt rub over bird.  Close bag; place on rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate turkey 18 to 24 hours.

Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Place rack in large roasting pan.  Rinse turkey; pat dry.  Combine lemons and next 6 ingredients, 1/4 oil, and 3 Tbsp lemon juice in large bowl; spoon into main cavity.  Whisk remaining oil and lemon juice in small bowl.  Tuck wing tips under; tie legs loosely.  Place turkey on rack; brush with some lemon oil.

Pour 2 cups stock into roasting pan. Roast turkey 1 hour hour.  Brush all over with remaining lemon oil.  Roast turkey 45 minute; pour 1 cup stock into pan.  Roast 45 minutes; add 1/2 c to 1 1/2 c stock into pan to maintain liquid level.  Turn pan around.  Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165 degrees, about 45 minutes longer.

Transfer turkey to platter; reserve pan with juices.  Tent turkey loosely with foil; let rest 30 to 45 minutes (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s