Mario Batali’s Greek Turkey


He may be a specialist in Italian cuisine but celebrity chef Mario Batali knows a thing or two about other cuisines as well— including how to make your Thanksgiving Turkey… Greek style.

Batali uses numerous Greek flavors and products to “Greekify” your holiday bird including Greek yogurt, honey and herbs that are Greek staples like thyme, mint and dill.

For the Turkey:

1 gallon Water
1 cup Sea Salt
1 bunch fresh Mint
1/4 cup toasted Coriander Seeds
1 tablespoon Dried Thyme
1 bunch of Dill
2 cups Honey
10 Garlic Cloves
1 gallon Ice Water
2 cups Ouzo
1 12- to 15- pound Turkey
3 bulbs of roasted Garlic
1 Lemon (quartered)
2 cups Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup chopped Dill
1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds (toasted and then ground)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the Gravy:

2 cups Chicken Stock
1/4 cup Dill
1/2 cup Turkey Drippings
2 Lemons (zested; one juiced)
8 Egg Yolks
Salt and Pepper to taste


Preparation Instructions for the Turkey:

In a large stock pot, combine the water, sea salt, mint, coriander seeds, thyme, dill, honey and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, and stir frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

When the broth mixture is cool, pour it into a clean 5 gallon bucket. Stir in the ice water and Ouzo.

Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight but no longer than 12 hours.

Remove the turkey and carefully drain off the excess brine and pat dry. Discard excess brine.

Preheat the oven to 425. Arrange an oven rack on the lower third of the oven. Place the turkey in a roasting pan on a rack. Tuck the roasted garlic cloves in the cavity of the bird along with the lemon.

Mix the yogurt with the chopped dill and coriander. Season with salt and black pepper. Take your hand and loosen the skin from the breast. With a piping bag, gently distribute the yogurt mixture under the skin of the turkey, in the cavity, and on the turkey skin.

Drizzle olive oil over the turkey and place in the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 325. Continue cooking until a thermometer reads 160 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.

Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.

Preparation Instructions For the Gravy:

In a small sauce pan, add the stock, dill, turkey drippings, and lemons. Bring to a simmer and slowly whisk in the eggs. Do not boil or the eggs will scramble. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.


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