Turkey al’ Tutto
"The more Thanksgiving dinners we prepare, the more we tend to steer our menus away from overly complicated and intensely rich preparations and instead opt for a simpler and lighter approach that focuses as much on all of the delicious late autumn vegetables as it does on the big bird. Removing the backbone, or spatcocking the turkey, reduces the cooking time and allows the breasts and legs to cook more evenly. Dry brining with Tutto Porchetta and salt one day ahead and leaving the bird uncovered makes for a well seasoned bird with crispy skin. Roasting it over an aromatic bed of fennel, onions and lemon perfumes the bird, keeps it juicy and makes a delicious side to serve at your Thanksgiving table. We call for an 8-10 pound bird for this recipe but it works equally well for a larger bird, just be sure to increase the seasonings and vegetables accordingly."
8-10 lb turkey, spatchcocked
4 Tbsp Tutto Porchetta
Salt, to taste
4 large fennel bulbs, cut into sixths
4 small to medium onions, halved or quartered
4 lemons or Meyer lemons quartered, seeds removed
3-4 fresh or dried bay leaves (optional)
At least one full day ahead of time, season your bird liberally with salt and Tutto Porchetta. Place on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and refrigerate overnight uncovered.
About one hour prior to cooking, remove your turkey from the refrigerator and allow it to temper. Rub the skin with olive oil.
Preheat your oven to 450°F.
In a roasting pan, toss the cut fennel, onions, lemons and bay leaves with salt and olive to coat. Set the turkey atop the vegetables.
Roast for 15 to 20 minutes to brown the skin. Lower the oven to 350°F and roast for about 45 minutes to an hour, basting occasionally with the pan drippings, until a meat thermometer inserted into the breast reads at least 150°F and the legs are cooked to about 160°F.
Allow the turkey to rest for about 15 minutes before carving. Serve the sliced turkey along with the roasted fennel, lemons and onion.
Note: Instead of a thickened turkey gravy we like to serve this turkey with either a turkey jus made from the pan drippings, turkey broth, a splash of white wine and chopped thyme or a simple sauce made with chopped parsley, olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice.
In the Charcuterie: The Fatted Calf's Guide to Making Sausage, Salumi, Pâtés, Roasts, Confits and Other Meaty Goods is available for purchase here: