Spice-Rubbed Roast Turkey
Syrian Aleppo pepper is mildly spicy, smoky, and complex. This recipe calls for a generous amount because most of it ends up in the gravy, giving it a mysterious richness.
- 1 whole fresh turkey (20 to 24 pounds)
- Shiitake-Mushroom Stuffing and Sausage Stuffing, room temperature
- 2 navel oranges, halved
- Coarse salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ground Aleppo pepper (kalustyans.com) or paprika, plus more if desired
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Persimmons, for garnish (optional)
- Fresh sage, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse inside and outside of turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a large roasting pan. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Tuck wings under turkey. Fill cavity loosely with stuffing, and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Squeeze 1 orange over turkey. Season outside of turkey generously with salt, and sprinkle with pepper. Gently rub seasonings into turkey.
Heat juice of remaining orange, the butter, and wine in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Roast turkey, basting every half hour with melted-butter mixture until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. (Halfway through, rotate pan and cover with foil.)
Remove stuffing, and transfer to a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. Bake until stuffing reaches 165 degrees, about 30 minutes more. Meanwhile, let turkey stand for 30 minutes. Transfer to a platter; reserve pan juices in roasting pan for Aleppo pepper gravy (recipe follows). Carve turkey. Garnish with persimmons and sage if desired.