Porchetta-Spiced Turkey with Pan Gravy

Porchetta, the fennel-scented, crackly skinned Italian pork roast, is the inspiration for this spiced turkey.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 12


  • 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 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
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 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 this recipe

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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°.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published November 2015

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