Lionheart Wines
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Dry-Cured Rosemary Turkey

Makes: About 14 servings
Prep and cook time: About 3 1/2hours plus 3 days to cure
Notes: Use a turkey that hasn’t been infused with broth or butter

3 tablespoons sea salt or kosher salt
3 tablespoons dried marjoram
3 tablespoons dried thyme
3 tablespoons dried juniper berries
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons anise seeds
1 turkey (14 to 15 lbs)
12 fresh rosemary sprigs (3 in. each)
12 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup (1/4 lb) Sage Butter, at room temperature
Pan gravy (see gravy recipe)

Sage butter:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon Bell’s poultry seasoning (optional)


  • Three days before serving, in a blender or spice grinder, 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; save neck for gravy. 
  • Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry. Cut off wing tips to the first joint and reserve for gravy. 
  • Rub half the herb mixture all over turkey; sprinkle remaining in body cavity.  Cover and chill for 3 days.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees (convention not recommended). 
  • Put rosemary sprigs, 1 tablespoon of sage butter and garlic inside turkey body cavity. 
  • Gently push your hand between skin and turkey breast to separate skin from breast.  Spread about half the sage butter over breast under skin.  Melt remaining sage butter and brush lightly over top of turkey.  Coat a V-shaped rack with cooking-oil spray and set in a 12 by 17 inch roasting pan. 
  • Place turkey, breast down, on the rack.  Roast turkey for 20 minutes. 
  • Lower temperature to 325 degrees. Roast for 1 1/4 hours. 
  • Tent the turkey loosely with foil.  Roast for 1 hour
    Meanwhile, cook turkey wing tips and neck for pan gravy (recipe follows). 
  • Remove turkey from oven and turn breast side up.  Return to over.  Roast until a meat thermometer inserted straight down through thickest part of breast to the bone registers 160 degrees (45 to 60 minutes longer).
  • Tip turkey to drain juices from cavity into pan and transfer to a platter.  Let stand in a warm place, uncovered, for 15 to 30 minutes. 
  • Finish gravy, then carve turkey.

Sage Butter:

In a medium bowl, stir all the ingredients until well combined. Refrigerate if making ahead.

Sunset, November 2005, Page 98

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