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Fall Favorites - Week 2 - Spicy Roast Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Thanksgiving is one of the many reasons this is my favorite time of year. Having moved to the US 10 years ago, it is a holiday that is relatively new to me but one I have grown to love. Family, friends, great food, lots of drinks, what could possibly go wrong? This year I have decided to spice it up a bit with my spicy turkey recipe.

I will also be sharing photos of some of my favorite Thanksgiving appetizers such as Chantarelle mushrooms on toast,

sweet potato and carrot soup, as well as side dishes such as mushroom sauce, sage and corn bread turkey stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes and desserts such pumpkin spice cake and as pumpkin pie. I hope you have as much to be thankful as I do and are surrounded by the people you love. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 3 1/2 hours

Total time: 4 hours

Ingredients (serves 8)


1 whole turkey (12lbs/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

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

8oz bread crumps

½ cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F/163°C

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

  3. Mix the ingredients for the turkey – olive oil, onions, garlic, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, rosemary, sage and thyme in a bowl

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

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

  6. Add the onions and fry for 3 more minutes, then add the sage and cook for 2 minutes

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

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

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

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

  11. 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, this is important for safe consumption of the turkey

  12. Once 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 innard of the turkey 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 long with side dishes such as mashed sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and mushroom sauce. You can also make extra turkey stuffing and serve on the side

Fun fact: I made my first roast turkey in 2011 for our first thanksgiving dinner on moving back to the US from Australia. Jens 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, deliciously spicy for lovers of spicy food.

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