2 tablespoons chopped oregano, plus 3 oregano sprigs
1 tablespoon chopped sage
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
One 12-pound turkey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Caramelized lemon halves, for garnish (see note)
How to Make It
In a bowl, blend the fennel seeds, garlic, chopped oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, coarsely ground black pepper, lemon zest and crushed red pepper with 1 stick of the butter.
Put the turkey on a rack set over a flameproof roasting pan. Using your fingertips and starting at the neck end, carefully loosen the skin over the breast. Spread all but 2 tablespoons of the spiced butter under the skin in an even layer over the breast. Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of spiced butter all over the skin. Refrigerate the turkey uncovered overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Rub the olive oil all over the turkey and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, until the turkey is golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 160°.
Transfer the turkey to a cutting board. Carefully tilt the turkey and pour the cavity juices into a medium bowl. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour off all but 1/4 cup of fat from the roasting pan. Add the flour and set the roasting pan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the flour is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, turkey cavity juices and oregano sprigs and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Strain the gravy into a gravy boat and stir in the parsley.
Carve the turkey and serve with the pan gravy and caramelized lemon halves.
To caramelize lemon halves, sear them cut side down in a hot cast-iron skillet until browned, about 3 minutes.
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Review Body: Great recipe! Fennel is the secret ingredient here. I was worried that the butter under the skin would make it soggy but that wasn't the case at all-- very crispy skin all over. I was also worried about the short cooking time, but that also worked out, the turkey was cooked all the way through and turned out really moist. Gravy was really rich and flavorful thanks to the fennel and lemon (plus I threw a half onion into the turkey cavity at the outset). One thing I changed with the gravy is that I just left all the pan juices/fat in the roasting pan, put it on two burners on the stovetop and then mixed in the flour and then the rest of the gravy ingredients minus the extra butter and parsley. There was so much butter under the skin at the start of the recipe that it didn't make sense to me to take out the fat after cooking and then add it back in.