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Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve tried so many ways over the years to prepare turkey so it will have lots of flavor and most important not turn out dry. I’ve wrapped them in cheese clothe, soaked them in brine, tried deep-frying, put butter over the skin, under the skin, cooked it stuffed, unstuffed, none of that works like this simple marinade. Everyone who has tried this marinade swears they end up with the most tender and juiciest turkey ever. Not to mention the wonderful flavors that penetrate the turkey from the fresh herbs. The fresh herbs usually come in bundles with rubber bands wrapped around them. These fresh herbs are the secret to the most flavorful gravy.
I introduced this recipe on a local talk show I was hosting in Los Angeles called, “A.M. Los Angeles” over 25 years ago and to this day I have strangers stop me on the streets and grocery stores to tell me how much they love it. I’ve picked up more converts of the years! 🙂 Preparing the turkey with this marinade will ensure you will have plenty of gravy that you will want to put on everything!


Serves 8-10

1- 14 to 15-pound organic turkey, empty the cavity of the bird, check neck area and pull the neck out, rinse well, pat the turkey dry and place in roasting pan.



2-1/2 cups Dijon mustard
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 fresh lemons juiced, save the rinds
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bundle  fresh sage
1 bundle fresh thyme
1 bundle fresh Italian parsley
6 to 8 cups chicken broth, homemade or organic store-bought chicken broth
 1 to 4 tablespoons arrowroot
  2 tablespoons dry sherry
  ¼ cup chives, chopped
  8 to 10 twists of a pepper mill with black peppercorns
  1 cup pomegranate seeds


Pre-heat oven 350 degrees

In a large glass bowl add the Dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, soy sauce and whisk until well incorporated. Set aside.
Take half of the herbs from each bundle, place one half inside the cavity of the bird along with the leftover lemon rinds.
Pour all of the marinade all over the turkey. Crack fresh pepper over the top, 8 to 10 twist of the pepper mill should do it!
Scatter the remainder of the herbs on top of turkey and in roasting pan.


Tie the legs together with twine and cover the tips of the legs and wings with aluminum foil (this prevents the tips from burning while roasting)
Tie a string around the bird to keep the wings in place.
Cut a large piece of heavy aluminum foil big enough to cover the roasting pan and turkey. Spray the insides of foil with cooking spray. Tent the turkey with the foil so the steam can’t escape. (If you are using a roasting pan with a lid no need to use foil.) Try to not let the aluminum touch the turkey.
Roast for 1 & 1/2 hours undisturbed. Remove the foil and check the turkey, the color will be beige, add 3 cups of chicken stock and stir the bottom of the pan to loosen the bits that have formed on the bottom and sides.
Baste the turkey all over using a turkey baster. Roast another 1/2 hour and add another cup of chicken stock. Scrap the bottom of the pan again, baste.
Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast without touching the bone. Continue roasting uncovered basting every 15 minutes for another hour.
Continue to baste every 15 minutes until the thermometer registers 160 degrees.
If the pan juices start to dry out add another cup of chicken stock. The whole process should take 3- 3/4 hours depending on your oven, that is why it is important to watch the thermometer and remove the turkey at 160 degrees.
The turkey will continue to cook while resting. It will rise by 5 more degrees. It is done when it reaches 165 F unstuffed. for stuffed follow guide below.
Remove the turkey from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil to keep it warm. Let it rest at least for 15 to 20 minutes before you carve.
Remove thermometer before you carve and after the turkey has time to sit. If you remove the thermometer immediately after taking the turkey out of the oven juices will escape.


Pour whatever chicken broth you have left into the roasting pan, scrape the sides with a wooden spoon to release any of the bits that are on the bottom or corners. Strain into a mesh strainer over a saucepan let sit for 5 minutes to give the oil time to rise to the top. Use a large spoon to remove oil that has risen to the top and discard.

Bring the pan juices in a saucepan to a gentle boil. In a small cup combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of cold water and mix well. Pour into the saucepan and stir to thicken. If you wish to have thicker gravy continue the same process until you get the thickness you like.

Add the sherry and simmer for one minute then add the fresh chives.

Carve the turkey and arrange on a large platter dividing the white meat from the dark. Ladle some of the gravy over the top of the turkey to help keep it moist and garnish with fresh parsley and pomegranates! Give 2 to 3 turns of black pepper over the top of the turkey.


1. Basting is extremely important if you want to have a moist golden turkey.
2. The aluminum foil on the tips of the wings and legs will keep them from burning while baking.
3. The instant-read thermometer should not touch the bone. It will give you a false reading of the temperature.?
4. Remove thermometer before you carve and after the turkey has time to sit. If you remove the thermometer immediately, the juices will escape from the turkey. Let it settle first.
I added the temperature charts for cooking turkey including stuffed. I personally DO NOT stuff my turkey. The juices are absorbed into the stuffing drying out the turkey. It also changes the flavor of my stuffing giving it a gamey taste that I’m not too fond of.


4 to 6 lbs. breast 1- 1/2 to 2- 1/4 hrs?
6 to 8 lbs. breast 2 -1/4 to 3 -1/4 hrs
8 to 12 lbs. 2- 3/4 to 3 hrs
12 to 14 lbs. 3 to 3- 3/4 hrs?
14 to 18 lbs 3- 3/4 to 4- 1/4 hrs?
18 to 20 lbs. 4 -1/4 to 4 -1/2 hrs
20 to 24 lbs. 4- 1/2 to 5 hrs.

8 to 12 lbs. 3 to 3- 1/2 hrs
12 to 14 lbs. 3- 1/2 to 4 hrs
14 to 18 lbs. 4 to 4- 1/4 hrs
18 to 20 lbs. 4 -1/4 to 4- 3/4 hrs.
20 to 24 lbs. 4-3/4 to 5 -1/4 hr



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