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Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner: Part 1 – The Turkey

November 6, 2014

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner? This is usually a holiday where we all give up our diets and pig out for the day, but you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice your healthy lifestyle to have a good meal. The recipe below will still give you the turkey tradition you’re used to without all of the calories and sodium that most recipes have. Here is a recipe for lemon-garlic roast turkey.

Ingredients You Need

  • 12-pound organic turkey
  • 10 garlic cloves (divided)
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup oregano leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsps canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Crush 6 cloves of garlic and place them in a large bucket or stockpot. Add in Worcestershire sauce, salt, lemon juice, and 4 quarts of cold water.
  2. Remove giblets and trim the excess skin on the turkey. Place turkey in bucket with brine, and put it all together in the fridge for 24 hours. If there is not enough brine to cover the turkey, turn the turkey over every 8 hours.
  3. Remove the turkey and rinse well. Use a paper towel to pat it dry, and then discard the brine.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Put the oregano, lemon zest, oil, pepper, 2 tablespoons of water, and the remaining 4 cloves garlic in a food processor. Pulse to a paste.
  6. Loosen the turkey skin over the breasts and thighs. Rub the paste under the skin and all over the turkey. Add some of the paste inside the cavity as well.
  7. Tie the turkey legs together using kitchen string or plastic zip ties. Tuck the tips of the wings under the turkey.
  8. Set the turkey in a large roasting pan on a roasting rack, breast-side down.
  9. Roast the turkey in the oven for about an hour. Turn the turkey over and add 1 cup water to the bottom of the pan. Continue roasting for 1 more hour.
  10. Use a turkey baster to baste the turkey with the juice at the bottom of the pan. Make a tent with aluminum foil over the top and continue roasting the turkey for 30-45 minutes. Baste every 15 minutes, and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thigh shows 165°F.
  11. Move the turkey onto the cutting board. Let it set for 20-30 minutes, remove the leg fasteners, and start carving.

How To Make Healthy Thanksgiving Turkey

Read about The Stuffing in Part 2, Green Bean Casserole In Part 3

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