Provisions Roast Turkey

Skill Level
Medium
Makes
1 turkey, 10 to 30 lbs.

Our Organic Taco Seasoning, made from spices grown without synthetic fertilizers, makes a surprisingly complex, delicious spice rub that’s easier on the planet, too. We use it for our super-easy Thanksgiving turkey recipe: Rub the bird with the seasoning and add fresh citrus to the pan. That’s it. The payoff is a crisp-skinned, well-seasoned, moist turkey. Bonus: Leftovers make a great turkey taco recipe (and turkey tortilla soup).

 

Look for organic, pastured and humanely raised turkeys from farms like Diestel or the Rodale Institute. Heirloom turkeys, which predate the industrializing of livestock, have especially good flavor and are usually raised with special care (look for a third-party animal welfare certification seal on the wrapping). Since none of these turkeys are as plentiful as industrial turkeys, order them at least a couple of months ahead.

 

How big a turkey to buy? The general rule of thumb is a little over a pound per person. For how long to roast various sizes of turkey, plus roasting temperatures, see the note below. This recipe makes enough rub for a 10-to 12-pound turkey; if your bird is bigger, just double or triple the rub.

 

Ingredients

Putting It All Together

  1. One to two days before roasting the turkey, remove the leg truss if there is one. Remove giblets and neck from the neck or body cavity and save for gravy if you like. Pat turkey dry with paper towels.
  2. Grind the taco seasoning in a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder (this isn’t absolutely necessary, but it will help the spices coat the turkey more evenly). Mix taco seasoning and salt with oil. Slather spice paste all over turkey and under the skin on the breast and thighs.
  3. Chill the turkey, covered, until ready to roast. Over the next day or two, the salt will brine the turkey, keeping the breast meat from drying out during roasting.
  4. Take the turkey out of the fridge an hour before roasting. Set turkey, breast up, on a V-shaped rack in a large roasting pan (at least 2 in. longer and wider than the bird). Fill neck and body cavity loosely with citrus pieces and oregano sprigs. Tie drumsticks together with kitchen twine, or leave them untied for more even roasting.
  5. Roast the turkey at 325° F. until a thermometer registers 160° when inserted straight down through the thickest part of the breast to touch the bottom of the breast bone. (See below for times and temperatures.) If the skin starts getting too dark, tent the turkey loosely with foil and keep on roasting.
  6. Remove citrus and herbs from inside turkey and set aside. Transfer turkey to a platter. Let sit in a warm place, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
  7. Meanwhile, make Citrus Spice Gravy if you like.
  8. Carve the turkey. If thigh joints are still pink, cut drumsticks from thighs, put thighs and drumsticks in a baking pan, and bake in a 450° oven until no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes, or microwave for 1 to 3 minutes.
  9. Serve hot turkey with gravy and enjoy your feast!

 

Turkey roasting temperatures and times (stuffed only with citrus):

For a 10-13 lb. turkey: 350° oven for 1 ½ to 2 ¼ hours

For a 14-23 lb. turkey: 325° oven for 2 to 3 hours

For a 24-27 lb. turkey: 325° oven for 3 to 3 ¾ hours