Saturday, October 23, 2010

Recipe: Amazing Fresh Herb Turkey Marinade

Last year was the first year I tried this for a Marinade. I made it up on a whim and it was hands down the best Turkey I had ever eaten. It was juicy and tender and all around a Yummy Bird. Fresh Herbs make this an easy winner and a definate crowd pleaser. Get a big Bird as there won't likely be leftovers!


1 Whole Turkey (Recipe makes enough for about a 15lb bird)
Fresh Garlic- 6-8 Whole Cloves
Lemon- Juice from 1- 1 1/2 whole Lemons
Fresh Lemon Zest- 1 tsp
Olive Oil- Approximately 1/2 cup
Fresh Parsley- A heaping handful of leaves, free of stems
Fresh Sage- A small handful of leaves, free of stems
Fresh Oregano- A smallish handful of leaves, free of stems
Fresh Thyme- About half a handful of leaves, free of stems
Fresh Rosemary- About half a handful of leaves, free of stems
Fresh Lemon grass- A small Handful of leaves, free of stems
Salt- 1-1 1/2 tsp
Fresh Ground Pepper- to taste

Also Need:

Blender/Food Processor
Large Turkey Sized Baking Dish
2 Large Kitchen Sized Trash Bags
Several Large Safety Pins/ Needle and Thread/ Other Method of Closing up Bird

To Prepare:

Combine Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest (fresh grated lemon rind), and Fresh Garlic in Blender/Food Processor and pulse until smooth and free of chunks. Next add fresh herbs a bit at a time, blending until smooth. You should end up with a fairly thick pesto-like paste. Add salt/pepper to taste. Next rinse out one of the Kitchen Trash Bags and place it inside the other Trash Bag to double layer it. Place Turkey inside open bag on a counter where you have room to work. Slide your hand very gently in between the Turkey's skin and the meat of the breast making a sort of pocket. Extend this pocket as far as possible to the legs etc being careful not to poke holes in the skin. Next take small handfuls of the Herb mixture and rub it all over, in between the skin and the meat, inside the bird, and on the skin. Use all but a few Tbsp of Marinade, which you will save and use to baste with while baking. When finished coating the Turkey, close the bag tightly squeezing out all of the air and tie it. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. The longer you marinate it, the more flavorful and tender it will be. When you have finished marinating, place the Turkey in a large baking dish and stuff with your choice of stuffing. Close Skin over stuffing with a Needle and thread/Safety Pins/ other method. Before placing in oven, pat with leftover marinade. Cook according to your birds specifications basting often and thoroughly. When the Turkey is done, remove from baking dish and let it rest on serving plate for 10-15 minutes before slicing so that it has time to reabsorb its juices. Do not forget to remove thread/ safety pins/ etc before serving. Do not forget to save the dripping for a succulent herb gravy (to follow in a later post). No doubt this will be the most flavorful Turkey you've ever tasted!

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