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Southern French Style Herb Roasted Turkey: A Recipe from Chef Amy Riolo

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Amy Riolos Turkey

November not only features America’s favorite family dinner holiday, Thanksgiving, but it’s also American Diabetes Month. Sponsored by the American Diabetes Association, the month-long program focuses the nation’s attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and the people affected by the disease. According to the Association, nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050. Fortunately, healthful meals featuring lean protein, fruits and vegetables and whole grains, along with regular exercise, can prevent certain types of diabetes and help people with diabetes feel better and stay healthier.

In her book The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook (Nautilus Silver Award and Starred Review by Publishers’ Weekly), Chef Amy Riolo (who I am also lucky to call my friend), demystifies the Mediterranean Diet. Here we share her Southern French Style Herb Roasted Turkey recipe, adapted from her cookbook, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Southern French Style Herb Roasted Turkey

The combination of herbs, garlic, spices and lemon juice make a flavorful, moist turkey that is simple to prepare. Much leaner than red meat, turkey doesn’t need to be saved for Thanksgiving. Serve this delicious roast whenever you have a large gathering.

Cook Time: Turkey should be roasted 20 to 25 minutes per pound
Serves: 10
Serving Size: 1/4 pound turkey meat

1 whole turkey (10 to 12 pound)
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp. herbes de Provence
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 whole head garlic, top chopped off
2 lemons, halved
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh sage

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use 1 Tbsp. olive oil to grease the bottom of a large roasting pan.

Season the turkey with salt and pepper on the inside and out. Place the turkey breast side up in the pan. Brush the turkey with the olive oil. Sprinkle the herbes de Provence and poultry seasoning on the turkey and rub them into the skin with your hands.

Place the whole garlic head, 1/2 lemon, rosemary, thyme and sage inside the cavity.  Squeeze the juice from another 1/2 lemon over the top of the turkey.

Place the turkey in the oven, add a cup of water to the bottom of the pan, and roast for 1 hour, uncovered.

Baste the turkey after the first hour of cooking. If the turkey looks very brown, cover it with foil.  Continue to bake for another 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey breast meat reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.

Remove the turkey from the oven and place it on a carving board. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Strain the liquid from the bottom of the pan into another saucepan using a large mesh strainer.  Add the juice of 1 lemon to the saucepan and stir.  Bring it to a boil over high heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve sauce in a gravy boat with the turkey.

Calories per serving: 215; Calories from Fat: 70   Total Fat: 8.0g Saturated Fat: 2.2g Trans Fat: 0.0g Cholesterol 80 mg   Sodium: 80 mg   Total Carbohydrate 3g Dietary Fiber 2g  Sugars 0g Protein 31g


About the Author
Amy Riolo is an award-winning author, chef, Culture of Cuisine cooking show host, cooking instructor, lecturer and Mediterranean expert. She makes frequent appearances on television and radio programs both in the United States and abroad and appears weekly in 90 second cooking videos entitled “Culture of Cuisine” which airs on nationally syndicated news shows on 28 different channels across the United States.

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