This is one of the best turkey recipes I have ever had! What a flavorful, tender, and spicy bird! If you are bored with a traditional recipe, you will NOT be disappointed with this one. While I found the recipe rather involved and time consuming, it was worth every minute. But, don’t skimp on the quality of turkey. It’s worth every penny to invest in a free-range, fresh bird from a local farm. Not only to you support your local farmers and environment, but you also support a higher quality of life for the bird. Serve with Cranberry Apple Chutney.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.
- 2 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon mixed colored peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek seed
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ajwain seeds
- 1 12–14-pound fresh (NOT frozen), free-range, organic turkey
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 10 green cardamom pods
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 cups (1 quart) plain whole-milk yogurt
- 1/2 cup chopped peeled ginger
- 1/2 cup high quality bottled lime juice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 2 tablespoons tandoori masala (see recipe above)
- 2 tablespoons garam masala (use store bought)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Tandoori Masala. Toast spices in a skillet over medium heat, swirling often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Grind, using a spice mill or a mortar and pestle.
- Turkey. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Rub inside and out with salt. Stuff turkey with cardamom pods and cumin seeds, then onion, celery, and garlic. Transfer to a large marinade bag.
- Marinade. Purée all ingredients in a blender. Pour marinade into marinade bag. Smear all over turkey. Tie bag and arrange turkey, breast side down. Refrigerate overnight.
- Roasting. Let turkey stand in a bag at room temperature for 1 hour. Turn breast side up and place turkey (and all of the marinade) in a large roasting pan. Cover and seal well with heavy duty aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 400°. Roast turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (puncturing bag with thermometer) registers 160°, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Remove aluminum foil and roast turkey until breast is deeply browned but not burned and a thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165°, 15–30 minutes longer. Transfer to a platter. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
- Gravy. Strain juices into a large saucepan. Spoon fat from surface. Simmer over medium heat until sauce is reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 40 minutes.
- Carve turkey. Serve with accompanying gravy.