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Jim Henkens; Karen Shinto Photo by: Jim Henkens; Karen Shinto

Juniper-and-Herb Roast Turkey

Presalting the turkey adds flavor and helps it stay moist during roasting; so does covering the breast and drumsticks with bacon. Prep and Cook Time: at least 3 hours, plus brining time.

This recipe goes with Pine Nut Gravy

Sunset NOVEMBER 2007

  • Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings


  • 1 free-range organic turkey (12 to 14 lbs.)
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh sage leaves
  • 2-in. rosemary sprig, leaves removed and minced
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Pine Nut Gravy


1. Rinse turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle all over with salt, working some under the skin on breast and thighs. Put in a roasting pan, cover with foil or plastic wrap, and chill for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.

2. Preheat oven to 400°. Unwrap turkey, discard any juices that have collected in pan, and pat turkey dry. Set aside. In a spice mill or clean coffee grinder, finely grind juniper berries, mustard seeds, and peppercorns. Rub spices all over turkey and set aside. In a small bowl, mix butter, thyme, sage, and rosemary until well combined. Massage mixture all over turkey and place bird in a large stovetop-safe roasting pan. Lay bacon slices over breast and drumsticks. Pour wine and 1/2 cup water into bottom of pan.

3. Roast turkey 1 hour, turning pan 180° halfway through. Reduce heat to 350° and roast, turning pan every 30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted straight down through the thickest part of breast to bone registers 155°, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4. Transfer turkey to a carving board, loosely cover with foil, and let rest 30 minutes to 1 hour. Pour pan drippings into a glass measuring cup for Pine Nut Gravy, reserving pan to make gravy. Carve turkey and serve with gravy.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 466
  • Calories from fat: 33%
  • Protein: 73g
  • Fat: 17g
  • Saturated fat: 6.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 0.3g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 893mg
  • Cholesterol: 198mg

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Juniper-and-Herb Roast Turkey recipe