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turkey TIPS

roasted turkey with pancetta and pine nut sauce
Chef Jody Denton of Merenda – Bend, OR
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 8 Servings


  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 ½ gallons water
  • ¼ cup cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup ground fennel seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons ground coriander seed
  • 2 Tablespoons crushed juniper berries
  • 2 heads garlic, cut in half
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • ½ bunch sage
  • 1 Organic turkey, 14-16 pounds

  • Turkey
  • ½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • ½ bunch thyme, stems removed and chopped
  • ½ bunch sage, stems removed and chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon white peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3 carrots, peeled and rough cut
  • 3 stalks celery, rough cut
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup dry white wine

  • Sauce
  • 12 ounces pancetta, sliced thin and ¼ inch square
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • ¾ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesano Reggiano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


For Brine:
In large, deep container such as a bucket, combine sugar, salt, water, herbs and spices and stir until sugar and salt are completely dissolved.

Submerge turkey, breast side down in brine, cover and refrigerate 24 hours, then remove turkey from brine and discard brine.

For Turkey:
Preheat oven to 450°F. In small bowl, combine thyme, sage, orange zest and juice, crushed peppercorns, garlic, salt and 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil. Mix thoroughly.

Remove neck and giblets from turkey and set aside. Rub mixture evenly all over inner cavity and outside of turkey. In large roasting pan, combine neck and giblets with onion, carrots, celery and remaining olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper and toss to lightly coat vegetables. Spread evenly over bottom of roasting pan.

Place marinated turkey on top of vegetables in center of pan and place in oven. Immediately reduce temperature to 325°F and set timer for 2 ½ hours.

After 2 ½ hours, using instant read thermometer, check internal temperature of turkey by inserting tip of thermometer deep between thigh bone and breast. When internal temperature reaches 160°F, remove turkey from oven. Place turkey on large platter, cover with foil and set aside. Remove neck and giblets and discard. Remove vegetables from roasting pan, place in serving dish, cover and set aside.

Add white wine to roasting pan and set over medium flame about 10 minutes to deglaze roasting juices dissolved from the pan. Turn off flame and set aside.

For Sauce:
In sauté pan over medium heat, cook pancetta until crispy. Add parsley, pine nuts and lemon zest and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine mixture from roasting pan along with lemon juice, olive oil and parmesan. Bring to boil, remove from heat and adjust seasoning.

To Serve:
Slice turkey and serve with roasted vegetables and top with spoonful of sauce.