Before my first round of Whole30, I had never heard of ghee, and wasn’t even sure how to pronounce it. I’m nearly 100% certain that it rhymes with “key”, but my mom, because of her Armenian heritage, adds a guttural sound to it. Either way, I have now learned of the many health benefits of ghee! Ghee is butter that is heated to separate the milk solids; it aids in digestion while reducing inflammation, has plenty of healthy fats, and helps with weight loss. All while giving a buttery, yet nutty and toasty flavor!
So for the centerpiece of your Christmas dinner, I have a delicious turkey recipe for you, starring ghee! It is rubbed with plenty of ghee; it’s higher smoke point helps keep the bird moist without burning the skin, garlic and rosemary for a delicious herbaceous flavor, and lemon, and *surprise!* grapefruit for a citrus-y punch. It seems complicated written down, but I will include some helpful pictures of what it looked like before it went in the oven, and it honestly isn’t complicated at all; no need to be scared of a little turkey! I was babysitting my nephew on the day I made this turkey; both babes were napping at the same time, and I had this turkey cleaned, seasoned, stuffed, in the oven, and dishes washed in about an hour! It is a simple recipe that produces such a flavorful, buttery, moist turkey with perfectly crispy skin…and the gravy it makes is out of this world! Is your mouth watering, or is it just me? Let’s get to the recipe!
Recipe is for a 12-14 pound turkey; if your bird is larger or smaller, adjust accordingly.
- One 12-14 pound turkey
- 1.5 cups of ghee, at room temperature
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves chopped finely, plus 4 additional sprigs for stuffing
- 2 tsp of dried thyme leaves (ours froze in the garden, but I would say about 4 tsp of chopped fresh if you have it)
- One lemon, halved, for stuffing and for zest
- 1/2 of one large grapefruit, halved and peeled
- About 1 tbsp of salt
- About 1 tbsp of black pepper
- For the gravy:
- 1/2-1 cup of water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 325 F
- In a small mixing bowl, combine ghee, garlic, chopped rosemary, chopped or dry thyme leaves, and lemon zest
- Clean out turkey cavity by removing the neck and giblets, trimming off any excess fat, and drying inside and out with a paper towel
- Season liberally inside and out with salt and pepper
- Rub about 2/3 of the ghee mixture under the skin as you can
- you will need to slightly (and gently!) separate the skin from the meat
- be sure to rub the ghee mixture on the breast, but also down on the legs
- With remaining ghee mixture, rub all over the top of the turkey
- Stuff the cavity with lemon, grapefruit, and remaining sprigs of rosemary
- Position turkey on roasting rack with wing tips facing up
- Tie the ends of the legs together with twine
- Bake for 2.5 to 3 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 165 F
- Move turkey to platter to rest and make gravy
- Pour turkey drippings into a deep pan
- On medium heat, heat the drippings until just starting to bubble
- Lower heat, and add water and potato flour
- Whisk until thick and well combined, season to taste with salt and pepper
- Add more water for a thinner gravy and more flour for a thicker gravy
- Slice turkey and serve with gravy
- Store leftovers covered in the fridge for 5-7 days
I have a beautiful red and green Christmas-y side dish coming in a few days, but if you are dying to try this recipe out (I won’t complain about that!), I have my Roasted Potatoes or Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes, as well as Crispy Brussels Sprouts for side dish ideas! My Creamy Tomato Basil Soup would make a great appetizer, and my Classic Garlic Hummus with veggie sticks would be a great hors d’oeuvre…just sayin’ 😉 I also have many desserts to choose from, including some Christmas-y classics, like Two Layer Paleo Fudge, Molasses Cookies, and Death by Hot Chocolate or Slow Cooker Apple Cider to go with dessert. I’d love to hear what your menu looks like for Christmas Day; let me know! No matter what you end up making, I hope you enjoy celebrating with loved ones. Remember the Reason for the season…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!
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