Honey Spiced Glazed Turkey With Paleo Gravy

Pasture-raised turkey is a great holiday option; not only does it check the box for a traditional holiday feast, but pasture-raised means good for you and the planet.

A true pasture-raised turkey spends its life outdoors eating grasses and grubs, which makes the meat incredibly nutrient-dense. Pasture-raised turkeys also tend to be smaller and leaner than the plump Thanksgiving turkeys you may be used to from a typical grocery store, but a dry brine along with a slow and thoughtful cooking method produces a tender and flavorful bird.

Adding herbs and spices like turmeric boost the nutritional value and make this traditional dish unique and special.

Enjoy this turkey with your favorite paleo sides such as mashed cauliflower, sweet potatoes, grain-free stuffing, sautéed green beans and Brussels sprouts with bacon. Don’t forget at least one Paleo dessert such as pumpkin pie or paleo apple crumble!

 

Prep time: 12-48 hours

Cook time: 3 hours

Makes: 4-6 servings plus leftovers

 

INGREDIENTS

For the turkey:

  • 1 whole pasture-raised turkey, about 10-12 pounds (for a larger turkey, adjust cooking times)
  • 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt or Kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 large parsnips, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 rutabaga, chopped
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4-6 sprigs of fresh herbs – thyme, rosemary, sage
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil

 

For the honey – spice glaze:

  • ¼ cup  Earth’s Balance (dairy-free) butter or Miyoko’s butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder 
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

 

For the gravy:

  • 3 cups turkey or chicken bone broth (gluten-free)
  • ¼ cup Earth Balance or Miyoko’s vegan butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ cup cassava flour or tapioca flour
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme 
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Garnish (optional):

  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Lemon

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix the salt with the sage, rosemary and thyme and rub over the defrosted turkey. Make sure the salt coats the whole bird. Cover the bird and let it sit in the fridge for 12 hours or up to 2 days. 
  • When ready to cook the turkey, unwrap it and place it in a baking dish. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
  • Arrange the parsnips, celery, rutabaga, garlic and sprigs of fresh herbs around and under the turkey and rub the turkey with the ghee or olive oil. 
  • Roast the turkey uncovered for 1-2 hours.  Then, tent the turkey with foil, return to the oven for 1 more hour (or longer if you are cooking a bigger bird). The internal temperature should be a minimum of 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh. 
  • Next, melt the ghee and honey over medium heat in a saucepan. Stir in the spices and seasonings and stir until combined. Baste the turkey with the glaze, return to the oven for 15-30 minutes until the honey – spice glaze has gently colored the turkey a beautiful golden hue.
  • Allow the turkey to rest, loosely covered in foil, while preparing the gravy, before carving (at least 15-20 minutes).
  • Strain the drippings from the turkey and combine with the turkey stock for a total of about 3 cups liquid. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the ghee and whisk in turmeric, cassava or tapioca flour. Whisk often for about 10 minutes or until the color begins to slightly darken. 
  • Add the white wine to the gravy, turn up the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the alcohol cooks off. 
  • Then, add the drippings and broth. Add the fresh thyme. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking occasionally, or until the gravy reaches desired thickness. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. 
  • Enjoy the turkey and roasted vegetables along with all of your favorite sides topped with Paleo gravy.