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Herb-Roasted Turkey with Cheese Grits

Yield 12 servings (serving size: 6 ounces turkey and about 1/2 cup cheese grits)
Thanksgiving with Jim Coleman means a stunning turkey and also grits. If you've never tried them in place of the traditional stuffing, this is your lucky year. You can make the grits ahead, then whisk and reheat in the microwave or oven.

Ingredients

  • 12 thyme sprigs
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 sage sprig
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (12-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 lemons, each cut in half
  • Cooking spray
  • Cheese Grits

Nutrition Information

  • calories 354
  • caloriesfromfat 29 %
  • fat 11.3 g
  • satfat 4.5 g
  • monofat 2.5 g
  • polyfat 2.5 g
  • protein 53.5 g
  • carbohydrate 6.6 g
  • fiber 0.6 g
  • cholesterol 138 mg
  • iron 5.8 mg
  • sodium 406 mg
  • calcium 140 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. Remove leaves from thyme sprigs to measure 2 tablespoons chopped; reserve stems. Remove leaves from rosemary sprig to measure 2 tablespoons chopped; reserve stem. Remove the leaves from sage sprig to measure 2 tablespoons chopped; reserve stem. Combine the chopped thyme, chopped rosemary, chopped sage, garlic, shallots, and pepper in a small bowl.

  3. Remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey with cold water, and pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub herb mixture under loosened skin and sprinkle in body cavity. Drizzle lemon juice over skin. Place reserved stems and lemon halves in body cavity. Tie ends of legs with cord. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey.

  4. Place turkey on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray or on a rack set in a shallow roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake at 350° for 3 hours or until thermometer registers 180°. (Cover turkey loosely with foil if it gets too brown.) Remove turkey from oven. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 10 minutes before carving. Discard skin. Serve with Cheese Grits.