roasted garlic & meyer lemon-rubbed turkey

i am not ambitious enough to cook a whole turkey but i wanted to try this rub! so i looked up directions on how to roast chicken and applied it to this recipe.

for my first time cooking a whole chicken, the recipe was a success! the chicken was so moist and tender. even without the gravy, it was so good! give this recipe a try!


For the garlic-lemon rub

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 3 Meyer lemons (see Tip)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium white miso (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the turkey

  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 (10-12 pound) turkey, remove neck, giblets and liver
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered, divided
  • 2 cups water, plus more as needed

For the gravy

  • 4 cups organic low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice – or –
    4 teaspoons lemon juice plus 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste


To prepare the garlic-lemon rub

Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400 degrees F.

Rub off excess papery skin from garlic heads without separating the cloves. Slice the tips off, exposing the ends of the cloves. Place the heads on a square of foil. Sprinkle with 4 teaspoons water and wrap into a package. Roast until very soft, 40 to 45 minutes. Unwrap and let cool.

Zest lemons (see FRUIT TIP below). Place the zest in a medium bowl; juice the lemons into the bowl through a strainer to catch the seeds. Reserve the squeezed lemon skins.

Add miso, oil, chopped thyme and pepper to the lemon mixture. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into the bowl. Whisk until the mixture forms a paste.

To prepare turkey

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat. Rub the paste under the skin onto the breast meat and leg meat and a little inside the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Place the reserved squeezed lemon skins, thyme sprigs and 2 onion quarters in the cavity. (You may not use all the citrus skins.) Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the turkey breast-side up on a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1 hour. Add 2 cups water and the remaining onion to the pan, tent with foil and continue roasting for 1 hour more. Baste the turkey with pan drippings and continue roasting, basting every 15 minutes or so, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165 degrees F, 1-1/2 to 2 hours more. Add more water 1 cup at a time if the pan is dry.

To prepare gravy

Skim off any visible fat from the juices from the roasting pan.

Whisk 1/2 cup of the stock and flour in a small bowl until smooth; set aside.

Set the roasting pan over two burners on medium heat. Add vinegar; bring to a boil and cook, scraping up the browned bits, until the liquid is reduced by about half, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining 3-1/2 cups stock. Increase heat to medium-high; return to a boil, stirring often. Boil until the liquid is reduced by about half, 6 to 8 minutes.

Whisk the reserved flour-stock mixture and add to the pan, whisking constantly, until the gravy thickens, 1 to 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice (or lemon and orange juices). Remove from the heat and pour the gravy through a fine sieve into a large measuring cup. (Discard the solids.) Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the string and carve the turkey. Serve with the gravy.

original recipe from EatingWell: Roasted Garlic & Meyer Lemon-Rubbed Turkey

Prepare the garlic-lemon paste. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Look for Meyer lemons from late fall to early spring in well-stocked supermarkets and specialty grocers. If you can’t find them, use 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 1 teaspoon orange zest plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons orange juice in Step 3. Place lemon and orange skins into the cavity in Step 6.


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