Lemon-Garlic Roasted Turkey
This recipe requires an injector to insert the lemon-garlic marinade into the turkey. Very well worth it, though!
1 (16-pound) whole turkey, fresh or frozen, thawed
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 to 8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
As needed lemon wedges
As needed parsley or other fresh herbs
- Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve. Rinse turkey with cold running water and drain well.
- In blender, combine olive oil and lemon juice. While blending, drop in garlic cloves one at a time. Gradually add lemon zest. Continue to blend until mixture is puréed.
- Using an injector, inject marinade into all parts of the thawed turkey. (Strain marinade if it is too thick to pass through the injector.)
- Gently massage turkey to distribute marinade.
- Place turkey in a large plastic bag (cooking bag or foodservice grade plastic bag). Close bag and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove turkey and drain excess marinade. Scrape off excess marinade and discard. Do NOT re-use marinade to baste the turkey.
- Fold neck skin and fasten to the back with 1 or 2 skewers. Fold the wings under the back of the turkey. Return legs to tucked position.
- Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large shallow (about 2 1/2 inches deep) roasting pan. Rub turkey with salt and pepper.
- Insert oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, being careful the pointed end of the thermometer does not touch the bone.
- Roast the turkey in a preheated 325°F (160°C) oven about 3 3/4 hours. During the last hour of roasting time, baste with pan drippings. If necessary, loosely cover with foil to prevent excessive browning.
- Continue roasting until the thermometer registers 180°F (85°C) in the thigh, or 170°F (80°C) in the breast. Remove turkey from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
- Place on a warm large platter and garnish with fresh herbs and lemon wedges.
Makes 16 servings.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of the National Turkey Federation.