A couple of years ago I posted this Easy Sage Roasted Turkey Recipe, which was the first time I’d experimented with roasting a turkey upside down and at high temps for shorter times. I’ve been doing it that way ever since, because the meat cooks more evenly and retains more moisture then when I roast it breast up for long periods of time.
I usually stuff fistfuls of compound butter under the skin before roasting, but I was inspired by a turkey recipe I found on Pinterest to try replacing the butter with mayonnaise instead. I wanted lots of flavor, so I incorporated a little dijon mustard and a handful of chopped rosemary into it as well. The end result was super tender and very flavorful – making this my new favorite turkey recipe hands down.
Mr. Hungry and I wanted to try roasting the turkey in our wood-fired oven this year, and it worked great. You don’t need a wood-fired oven to make this recipe though, just make it in your regular oven at the designated temperatures in the recipe below.
The first step is to cut up your aromatics and arrange them in your roasting pan. This will be the foundation of your pan gravy – and these flavors together are amazing!
Next you’ll want to prep your turkey by removing all of the innards. Then make your mayonnaise mixture and stuff it under the skin, inside the cavity, and all over the outside. Sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and pepper, then place on top of your aromatics breast side down – preferably on a roasting rack (more on this later.)
Roast the turkey for 2 hours upside down at 450 degrees (F).
Remove the turkey from the oven and carefully turn over in the pan so it’s breast side up. Lower the heat to 400 degrees and roast for one more hour – longer if your turkey is bigger than 16 – 18 lbs.
This is where the wheels fell off for me – because I didn’t use the roasting rack, and I wasn’t careful about making sure the skin didn’t come in contact with the pan, it stuck and tore off when I turned it over.
Still delicious, but not nearly as pretty as when it’s intact. If something like this happens to you, simply carve some of the breast meat off and arrange it nicely on a platter before serving and your guests will never know there was an issue. I won’t tell if you don’t.
Now let’s talk about this gravy. It’s tangy, herby, and just the slightest bit sweet from the apples – the perfect complement to this delicious turkey! Making it couldn’t be easier – just remove your bird from the pan, then remove the lemon halves, and blend everything left in the pan with a blender.
No need to add thickeners to it (or anything else unless you want to adjust for salt and pepper after tasting) because it’s already thick and creamy. This was one of the best gravies I’ve ever had, and there was a ton of it. You can freeze it for use later with roasted chicken or even to flavor soups with.
I can’t say enough how much I loved the results of this experiment! Even with the torn breast skin, this was the tenderest white meat I’ve ever had on a turkey. It was really perfect and had no mayonnaise flavor at all. I hope that you’ll give this method a try and report back!
Need some delicious low carb side dishes to complement your turkey? Try my Low Carb and Gluten Free Turkey Dressing/Stuffing, Bacon and Smoked Gouda Cauliflower Mash, and my delicious Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Pine Nuts!
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