Berbere-Rubbed Roast Turkey with Orange Aioli

Berbere-Rubbed Roast Turkey with Orange Aioli

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From: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2017

This Ethiopian-spice-rubbed turkey recipe has just the right amount of curry-like seasoning to make it exciting but still at home on a Thanksgiving table. There's enough au jus left in the roasting pan for any traditionalists to drizzle over their turkey; use the citrus aioli for dipping or for turkey sandwiches the next day.

Ingredients 12 servings

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Original recipe yields 12 servings
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  • 1 10- to 12-pound turkey (see Tip), thawed if frozen
  • 3 medium oranges
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup berbere spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, zest 1 orange. Peel all 3 oranges and cut each into 6 wedges. Combine the zest, mayonnaise and garlic in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line a roasting pan with foil and coat a roasting rack with cooking spray. Add water to the pan.
  4. Rub the turkey all over with butter. Season inside and out with berbere spice and salt, particularly under the skin and onto the breast meat. Fill the cavity with the orange wedges and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the turkey breast-side down on the prepared rack in the roasting pan. Roast for 1½ hours.
  5. Remove the turkey from the oven and carefully turn it over, using turkey lifters, tongs or silicone oven mitts, so it's breast-side up. Return to the oven and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast without touching bone registers 165°F, 45 minutes to 1¼ hours more.
  6. Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest 20 minutes before transferring to a clean cutting board to carve (see Tip). If desired, pour the pan drippings through a sieve to serve with the turkey and the reserved orange aioli.
  • To make ahead: Refrigerate aioli (Step 2) for up to 2 days.
  • Equipment: Kitchen string
  • Tips: Most turkeys you'll find at the supermarket are Broad-Breasted Whites, a variety bred to meet demand for, no surprise, more white meat. A heritage turkey (sometimes called heirloom) is one of the handful of older varieties-such as Bourbon Red or Narragansett-that preceded this modern hybrid. All of them are descended from wild turkeys, but the Broad-Breasted White has been bred to grow so large that it can't reproduce naturally. If you're a fan of dark meat, you'll love a heritage bird-it has a more equal balance of dark to light. Check for them at local markets or farms or order online from
  • How to Carve a Turkey
  • 1. Place the roasted turkey on a cutting board. Holding it steady with a carving fork, cut through the skin between the leg and body using a large carving knife. Cut through the hip joint, removing the entire leg from the body. Repeat with the other leg.
  • 2. Place a leg skin-side down and cut through the joint between the drumstick and thigh. Repeat with the other leg.
  • 3. To remove the breast meat, make a horizontal cut near the base of the turkey. Then, hold the turkey near the breastbone with the carving fork. Make a cut along one side of the breast down to the horizontal cut you made at the base of the body. Repeat with the second breast half on the other side of the breastbone. Cut the breast meat into slices.
  • 4. Bend a wing away from the body and use a knife to remove the wing piece. Repeat with the other wing. Cut off the wingtips, if desired.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 3 oz. turkey & generous 1 Tbsp. aioli
  • Per serving: 386 calories; 24 g fat(6 g sat); 1 g fiber; 4 g carbohydrates; 36 g protein; 19 mcg folate; 146 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 153 IU vitamin A; 13 mg vitamin C; 30 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 488 mg sodium; 342 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (22% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 5 lean protein, 3 fat

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