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Amazing Autumn - Week 4 - Roast Turkey - USA

Welcome to week 4 of my Amazing Autumn series! Autumn is my favorite season! I absolutely love how dreamy and beautiful everything becomes when the trees change to vibrant shades of reds, oranges and gold as they fall leisurely from the trees against a backdrop of clear blue skies. The weather gets cooler and the wind crisper. Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays is almost here. Thursday November 27th is Thanksgiving and in honor of this wonderful holiday I am sharing with you my Spicy Roast Turkey recipe.

I made my first roast turkey in 2011 for our first Thanksgiving dinner on moving back to the United States from Australia. Jens my husband was delighted with the dinner, and needless to say, it is still one of my most memorable Thanksgiving dinners. Lately, I have experimented with a spicy turkey by adding 1 habanero pepper to the marinade; spicy food lovers will find this addition delicious. In previous weeks of my Amazing Autumn series, I have shared recipes for Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup, Roasted Pumpkin and Mushroom Sauce all of which make delicious Thanksgiving dishes. Happy Thanksgiving and have a peaceful, thankful and delicious holiday!


Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Total time: 4 hours

Ingredients (serves 8)


1 whole turkey (12 lbs/5½ kg)

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion onions (1 cup), diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

½ teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon fresh or dried rosemary, chopped finely

1 tablespoon fresh or dried sage, chopped finely

1 tablespoon fresh or dried thyme, chopped finely

1 habanero pepper, chopped finely

2 cups chicken stock

Turkey stuffing

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion (1 cup), diced

2 tablespoon fresh or dried sage

8 oz bread crumps

½ cup raisins


  • Preheat oven to 325°F/163°C.

  • Make sure the neck and the innards to the turkey have been removed, then rinse the inside and outside of the turkey and pat dry.

  • In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the turkey: olive oil, onions, garlic, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, rosemary, sage, thyme and habanero pepper.

  • Rub the inside and outside of the turkey with the marinade.

  • Heat the olive oil for the turkey stuffing a medium saucepan over medium heat, then heat the garlic for 1 minute.

  • Add the onions and heat for 3 more minutes, then add the sage and cook for 2 minutes.

  • Next add the breadcrumbs and raisins, and mix, then remove from heat.

  • Stuff the inside of the turkey with the turkey stuffing.

  • Place the turkey breast side up in a roasting pan; pour 1 cup of chicken stock over the turkey, then cover with aluminum foil.

  • Roast the turkey for 2½ hours, checking it every 45 minutes. If the turkey is beginning to dry out, collect some juices from the roasting pan and pour over the turkey. Add more of the chicken stock if necessary. The goal is to have a moist and juicy turkey.

  • After 2½ hours, remove the foil and continue cooking the turkey for another 30–60 minutes or until the juices run clear (no blood) and the turkey is no longer pink on the inside. If you have a cooking thermometer, the temperature on the thickest part of the turkey, such as the thigh, should reach 180°F/82°C, and the stuffing should reach 160/71°C. Reaching this temperature is important for safe consumption of the turkey.

  • Once the turkey is fully cooked and the surface of the is a golden brown color, remove from heat and allow to stand for about 15 minutes before serving.

Tips: Roast the turkey for 15 minutes for every pound of turkey. The innards can be used to make stock for roasting the turkey, just steam them in a sauce pan over medium heat with 2 cloves garlic, ¼ onion, ¼ teaspoon allspice, black pepper, salt and 2 cups water for 15 minutes. Any marinade left over in the tray after the turkey is cooked can be used to make a gravy to accompany the turkey.

Serving suggestions: Serve the turkey while warm with side dishes such as mashed sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and mushroom sauce. You can also make extra turkey stuffing to serve on the side.

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