I’ve got your Thanksgiving turkey lined up!
I don’t know about you, but I’m officially in Thanksgiving mode over here. And I’m about to share some amazing new recipes to help you prepare!
First off, my citrus roast turkey! I decided to use lots of fresh and vibrant ingredients for my turkey this year. We cook everyday meals with fresh and bright produce, why not cook our turkey like that too??
The lemons and oranges add a bright and tangy flavor, while the garlic, onions and spices pack in even more incredible flavor! Plus, bonus? The roasted garlic, onions and fruit can be served and eaten right along side the turkey. Not to mention, all these ingredients make an amazing gravy at the bottom of the pan. Add it to stuffing, veggies, or dip bread into it! SO GOOD!
I have to be honest, I have absolutely no desire to roast an entire turkey. Between the brining and dry rub techniques and the different methods for cooking it perfectly, I always get turned off. Not to mention, when I’m hosting, the last thing I want to do is worry about whether my turkey is too dry or cooked enough.
My solution? Create a beautiful, quick and easy turkey platter made up of turkey parts. You heard me. Parts, not a whole bird!!
Based on what I’ve read, been told, and with the hostess in mind, I have a few reasons why I totally recommend making your turkey from parts this year!
- The turkey breasts, thighs and legs require different cooking times. So, instead of hoping it all cooks evenly, you can simply remove the parts that are cooked through from the pan, and leave the rest to continue cooking.
- You can purchase more of the meat your guests prefer.If your family likes white meat more than dark, buy more of that. Everyone wins!
- No need to carve an entire turkey. There is no way a hot turkey carved at the table is practical. Serving parts is so much easier and more manageable, not to mention, looks nicer. In my family, we don’t bring the turkey to the table Norman Rockwell-style, so we’re not sacrificing anything.
- Takes up way less oven space. If you are having upwards of 15-20 people at your table (we usually have 25-30), your bird is going to be big and tall. With turkey parts, there’s no worrying about the size.
- Takes less time to cook. Turkey parts cook faster than a whole turkey, and faster cooking time means freeing up your oven for other important things, like my Granola Pie!
- It’s a great make-ahead option. One of my favorite tips for being an organized hostess is preparing ahead. With turkey parts you can cook them ahead, assemble your platter and keep it warm with foil until you’re ready to eat.
- A deconstructed turkey platter is a showstopper! You can assemble it however you like. Add herbs, fresh, dried or cooked fruit, or even nuts. You really can’t go wrong, and your guests will be super impressed!
There you have it! A beautiful turkey platter makes a dramatic centerpiece without any downsides! This year, stress less and enjoy the holiday more!
To assemble, I started with a large platter and piled on some fresh arugula. You can use any greens you like. I happen to love warm arugula with chicken and citrus flavors, so I went with it.
Then I sliced my chicken breast (probably should’ve sliced it thinner…), placed it on the platter, and added the legs.
I then added seared and fresh fruit, some of the roasted garlic heads and stuck in some fresh mint leaves. That’s all there is to it!
Some other options:
Use ingredients with flavors, colors and textures that you love!
- 3 Turkey drumsticks, skin on (2.66 lbs)
- 1 Turkey half breast, bone in and skin on (2.48 lbs)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 2-3 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
- 3 yellow onions, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 lemon, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 navel orange, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 2 garlic heads, cut in half
- 2 cups chicken broth
- For Garnish:
- Handful of arugula leaves
- 1 pomegranate, quartered
- 1 lemon, halved and seared
- 1 clementine, quartered
- Fresh mint leaves
- Place the turkey parts on a large plate and pat dry. Drizzle with oil and season all sides, and under the skin with salt, pepper and fennel seeds. Set aside.
- Divide the onion slices evenly across the bottom of two roasting pans. Place the turkey breast in one pan, and the drumsticks in the other pan, skin side up on top of the onions. Divide the lemon slices, orange slices and garlic evenly between both pans. Pour half of the broth into the bottom of one pan and the remaining half into the second pan.
- Bake for 2 - 3 hours, basting every half hour. The half breast will be done once it registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, inserted into the thickest area. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil for 15 minutes before slicing.
- Continue baking the drumsticks for 20- 30 minutes, until it registers 180 degrees.
- Reserve the juices for gravy, and save the fruit, onions and garlic to serve on the side of the turkey.
- There are a few ways to ensure your turkey gets to the table while it’s still hot:
- a) If eating your turkey right out of the oven, assemble the platter and serve.
- b) If waiting about 10 minutes from the time it comes out of the oven, leavethe turkey in the pan and cover with foil.
- c) If waiting longer (15 minutes or more) from the time it comes out of the oven, keep the turkey covered with it's juices in a really low oven until ready to eat.
- Right before serving, assemble the arugula on a big platter. Add the hot turkey, cooked and fresh fruit and garnish with mint leaves.
Cook and slice the turkey as instructed above. Heat room temperature turkey covered with foil in their pans with their juices, for 15-30 minutes until the turkey is heated through. (Cold turkey will require longer time in the oven to heat through). Once the turkey is hot, assemble on the platter and serve right away.