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Roasted Garlic & Meyer Lemon-Rubbed Turkey

  • 1 h 20 m
  • 5 h
Jessie Price
“Mellow white miso paste is the secret ingredient in this amazing roast turkey rubbed with Meyer lemon and roasted garlic. The miso gives the turkey a mildly salted taste without the hassle of brining.”


    • Roasted Turkey
    • 2 heads garlic
    • 3 Meyer lemons (see Tip)
    • ¼ cup white miso (see Note)
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus 3 sprigs
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 1 10- to 12-pound turkey, neck and giblets reserved for stock (discard liver)
    • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered, divided
    • 2 cups water, plus more as needed
    • Turkey Giblet Stock (optional; 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth may be used instead to make the gravy)
    • 6 cups water
    • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
    • 1 medium carrot, chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, chopped
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 sprig fresh thyme
    • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    • Citrus Gravy
    • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juiceor 4 teaspoons lemon juice plus 2 teaspoons orange juice
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • 1 To prepare turkey: Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400°F.
  • 2 Rub off excess papery skin from garlic heads without separating the cloves. Slice the tips off, exposing the ends of the cloves. Place the heads on a square of foil. Sprinkle with 4 teaspoons water and wrap into a package. Roast until very soft, 40 to 45 minutes. Unwrap and let cool.
  • 3 Zest lemons. Place the zest in a medium bowl; juice the lemons into the bowl through a strainer to catch the seeds. Reserve the squeezed lemon skins.
  • 4 Add miso, oil, chopped thyme and pepper to the lemon mixture. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into the bowl. Whisk until the mixture forms a paste.
  • 5 Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees . Set aside giblets and neck for making Turkey Giblet Stock, if desired. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
  • 6 Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat. Rub the paste under the skin onto the breast meat and leg meat and a little inside the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Place the reserved squeezed lemon skins, thyme sprigs and 2 onion quarters in the cavity. (You may not use all the citrus skins.) Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the turkey breast-side up on a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan.
  • 7 Roast the turkey for 1 hour. Add 2 cups water and the remaining onion to the pan, tent with foil and continue roasting for 1 hour more. Baste the turkey with pan drippings and continue roasting, basting every 15 minutes or so, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 1½ to 2 hours more. Add more water 1 cup at a time if the pan is dry.
  • 8 To prepare stock: Meanwhile, combine the reserved turkey neck and giblets (except liver), water, onion, carrot and celery in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns. Reduce heat and simmer, skimming and discarding any foam, for 1 hour. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and let cool. Discard solids. If necessary, add enough water (or reduced-sodium chicken broth) to measure 4 cups stock.
  • 9 Transfer the turkey to a clean cutting board (reserve the pan juices and onions). Let the turkey rest while you make Citrus Gravy.
  • 10 To prepare gravy: Skim off any visible fat from the juices from the roasting pan.
  • 11 Whisk ½ cup of the stock and flour in a small bowl until smooth; set aside.
  • 12 Set the roasting pan over two burners on medium heat. Add wine; bring to a boil and cook, scraping up the browned bits, until the liquid is reduced by about half, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining 3½ cups stock. Increase heat to medium-high; return to a boil, stirring often. Boil until the liquid is reduced by about half, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • 13 Whisk the reserved flour-stock mixture and add to the pan, whisking constantly, until the gravy thickens, 1 to 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice (or lemon and orange juices). Remove from the heat and pour the gravy through a fine sieve into a large measuring cup. (Discard the solids.) Season with salt and pepper.
  • 14 Remove the string and carve the turkey. Serve with the gravy.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4; cover and refrigerate the garlic-lemon paste for up to 1 week.
  • Equipment: Kitchen string
  • Tip: Look for Meyer lemons from late fall to early spring in well-stocked supermarkets and specialty grocers. If you can't find them, use 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 1 teaspoon orange zest plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons orange juice in Step 3. Place lemon and orange skins into the cavity in Step 6.
  • Note: Miso is fermented soybean paste made by inoculating a mixture of soybeans, salt and grains (usually barley or rice) with koji, a beneficial mold. Miso is undeniably salty, so a little goes a long way. White or sweet miso (Shiromiso), made with soy and rice, is yellow and milder in flavor than red miso. Look for it near the tofu in most supermarkets or natural-foods stores.
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