Middle Eastern Roast Turkey Recipe

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The Lebanese Recipes Kitchen (The home of delicious Lebanese Recipes and Middle Eastern food recipes) invites you to try Middle Eastern roast turkey recipe. Enjoy the Middle Eastern Cuisine and learn how to make Middle Eastern roast turkey.

Spice up the festive table with this smart alternative to traditional roast turkey

Serves 8-10
Prep 30 mins
Cook 4 hrs 30 mins 


1 oven-ready turkey , about 6kg
125g butter
1 lemon , zested and halved
2 large onions , peeled, 1 halved and 1 thickly sliced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp of a mix of ground cinnamon , ground cumin and sweet paprika
1 sprig thyme , leaves pulled off and finely chopped
½ tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
1 orange , zested and halved
olive oil
2 cinnamon sticks
2 glasses white wine


1 tbsp flour
200ml white wine or red wine
600ml chicken stock
pinch each of ground cinnamon , ground cumin and sweet paprika
squeeze of orange juice 


Heat the panggangan to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.Mix the butter with the lemon and season well. Gently push your fingers under the turkey’s skin, starting from the neck end of the bird, easing the skin away from the flesh over both the breast and tops of the drumsticks – you’ll have to slide your whole hand in to reach this far. Spread the lemon butter under the skin, pushing it as far in as you can, then smooth the skin back into place. Put the onion halves and bay leaves in the turkey cavity.

Mix the spices and thyme with the pomegranate molasses, if using, orange zest and enough oil to make a brushable paste. Brush all over the turkey breast. Push the halved orange and cinnamon sticks into the turkey.

Arrange the sliced onion in the bottom of a large roasting tin to act as a trivet for the bird and pour in the wine. Sit the turkey on top and cover both the bird and tin completely with foil to make a tent. Cook the turkey for 40 minutes per kilo, basting once or twice.

Take out the turkey and turn up the panggangan to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Remove the foil and return to the panggangan for a further 30 minutes or until the skin is golden. To test if it is cooked, pierce the fattest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices that run out should be clear and not pink; keep cooking if the juices are pink and check again after each 10 minutes. If you like your turkey meat almost falling off the bones, test by wiggling the leg – it should give slightly if the meat is ready to come away from the bones.

Rest the turkey, covered loosely with foil, for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour before serving.

To make the gravy, pour away any excess fat from the roasting tin but keep the onion slices – a fat separator will help with this. Set the tin over a medium heat, then sprinkle over the flour. Stir through and cook for 2 minutes, turning the onion over in the mixture to extract the flavour. Slowly stir in the wine, stock and juices and add a pinch of each spice and a squeeze of orange juice. Bring to a boil, scraping bits from the bottom, then simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes. Season and sieve into a jug. Serve with the turkey.

Nutrition per serving:

851 kcalories, protein 105.1g, carbohydrate 14.7g, fat 41.7 g, saturated fat 15.7g, fibre 1.9g, salt 0.94 g

Recipe from olive magazine, December 2010.

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