Spice-Cured Roast Turkey Recipe

About: Campanile Chef Mark Peel offers a recipe for a flavorful and succulent preparation of a whole turkey.

Recipe Info

Restaurant: Campanile | Los Angeles

Servings: 12
Prep Time: 8 hour(s) 30 minutes
Cuisine: American
Meal Type: Recipemealtype object (5)
Main Ingredient: Recipemainingredient object (154)
Dish Type: Recipedishtype object (4)
Cooking Method: Recipemethod object (5)
Season/Occasion: Recipeoccasion object (12)
Dificulty: Recipedifficulty object (2)
Vegetarian: No



At least 20 hours prior to serving: Prepare the brine: In a very large stock pot combine water, kosher salt, sugar, bay leaves, thyme, allspice, juniper berries, and cloves, and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the brine until chilled, about 4 to 5 hours.

At least 16 hours prior to serving: When the brine is completely chilled, place the turkey parts in the brine, and allow to marinate for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator.

3 1/2 to 4 hours prior to serving: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Place turkey breast in a large shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Season lighly with fresh ground pepper, then cover bird with whole branches of rosemary. Eliminate any extra thick sticks of rosemary by stripping off the leaves, using only the leaves. Place roasting pan in oven and roast the turkey breast for approximately 3 hours until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads at least 150 degrees.

Meanwhile, make a confit of the turkey legs by placing them in a sauce pan that will hold them both without overlapping but without much extra space. Pour in the chicken fat, which should almost cover the legs. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. The foil should not touch the legs, as the spot where the foil touches the legs might burn.  Place pan in the oven with the turkey breast if possible. Remove from the oven when the meat is tender, about 2 hours. Keep in a warm place until serving.

When the breast is removed from the oven, bring the pan outside. Light the whole rosemary branches on fire outside, because of the smoke and fire danger. Brush off some, not all, of the ashes from the burnt sticks, placing the rosemary back on the breast, and bring it back inside. Allow the breast to rest at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving. Meanwhile, remove the legs from the chicken fat and slice the meat from the thigh but serve the leg as is.

Recipe Note:

Have the butcher remove the legs and thighs from the turkey. Do not separate the legs from the thighs.

Prep Time Note:

includes 16 hours brining time


2 gal. water 1 1/3 C. kosher salt 2/3 C. granulated sugar 2 bay leaves 1 Tbsp. dried thyme 2 tsp. cracked whole allspice 1 tsp. crushed juniper berries 5 whole cloves 1 16- to 18-lb. turkey 4 oz. rosemary branches 4 C. chicken fat

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