This is the perfect roasted turkey, du jour! It’s always a continuing story with me, just trying to find the best way to cook something, with the least amount of effort. So, this time I cut the breast off the bird (left side of picture) and put it beside the leg, thigh, wing, back section.
- 1 (12.5 lb) turkey (I used a fresh, free range)
- Kosher salt
- 3 lemons
- 6 bay leaves
- 12 or more whole cloves of garlic, skins removed
- 4 onions, cut in thick slices
- 1 bundle fresh thyme
- Extra virgin olive oil or melted unsalted butter
- Freshly ground pepper
- Dried thyme (optional)
- Capers (ooptional)
- Cut the breast (with the skin) off the turkey. If you can break the breast bone a little to flatten it, that would be good. Generously salt the skin side and underside of the turkey, both parts (breast and leg, thigh, wing, back). Place in baking pan, cover, and leave in fridge overnight.
- Let turkey sit out for about an hour before cooking.
- Cut 6 thin slices of lemon, and cut the rest of the lemons in thick slices. Reserve the thin slices.
- Lift the bird and place the onion slices, thick lemon slices, garlic, and thyme under all the parts.
- Gently separate the skin from each half of the breast.
- Place 3 bay leaves and 3 thin slices of lemon on each breast half. Smooth the skin back on top of lemons and bay leaves.
- Very generously drizzle oil or butter all over the skin side of the bird. Sprinkle with pepper and dried thyme.
- Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours until internal temp of the thickest part of the breast and the thickest part of the thigh is 145-150° (make sure the meat thermometer does not touch the bone). If the breast is done before the thigh (or vice versa), remove it from the pan, and continue roasting the rest of the bird.
- There is a lot of delicious juice that forms in the bottom of the pan. Use it as a sauce, particularly on the sliced breast meat. Add capers to the sauce for extra flavor.
- When storing poultry, no later than the third day it's in the fridge, remove the meat from the bones. Use the bones to make stock or discard them. The meat will be good for a couple extra days without the bones.