Persian-Style Roast Turkey

Cook Time: 250 minutes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 5 cloves garlic, 2 finely grated and 3 whole and unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 turkey (12 to 15 lbs.)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 4 dried Persian limes, smashed (optional)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, plus more for the gravy
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

Preparation

1. For the turkey, in a small bowl, mix the grated garlic, turmeric, 1 tbsp. cumin, the paprika, and cayenne. Rub the oil and then the spice mixture inside the cavity and all over the turkey; season generously with kosher salt inside and out. Let the turkey marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. While the turkey is marinating, make the pomegranate sauce. In a large pot, bring the pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses, limes (if using), and the remaining 1 tsp. cumin to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Transfer 1/2 cup of the sauce to a small bowl and reserve for the gravy.

3. Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Place the turkey on a rack set inside a large roasting pan. Pour 2 cups stock in the pan. Stuff the whole garlic, the onion, orange, lemon, and herb sprigs into the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey and loosely tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Generously brush the turkey with the pomegranate sauce. Tent loosely with foil and roast the turkey, brushing every 20 to 30 minutes with more of the sauce, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165° when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes.

4. While the turkey rests, make the gravy. Strain the pan drippings into a large heatproof 2-cup measuring cup. Let sit until the fat rises to the top, about 5 minutes. Skim off the fat; transfer to a small bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup of the fat to a saucepan; heat over medium-high. Add the flour and whisk to blend. Cook, whisking often, until it begins to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes. If needed, add enough stock to the drippings to measure 1 1/2 cups, then add to the pan. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the reserved 1/2 cup pomegranate sauce and the honey. Thin with more stock, if desired. Stir in the walnuts; season with kosher salt. Carve the turkey; serve with the gravy.

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