Wild Turkey with Lavender Masala


Here, the turkey is garnished with sprigs of lavender and halved pomegranates, highlighting ingredients in several other dishes.


  • cup garam masala

  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender

  • 1 wild turkey (12 to 14 pounds), neck and giblets removed

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ½ cup bacon fat or 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for basting


  1. Combine garam masala and lavender in a small bowl; stir to combine. Set aside.

  2. Rinse back and front cavities of turkey under cold running water; pat dry. Season turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Rub with bacon fat, and sprinkle with spice mixture; rub to coat evenly. Place in a large metal bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 24 hours or at least overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Tuck wings under turkey; tie legs together with kitchen twine. Place in a large, heavy roasting pan fitted with a rack. Roast 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 degrees.

  4. Continue roasting, basting turkey with pan juices every 30 minutes (add 1/2 cup water if pan becomes dry). Tent with foil after 1 hour. Roast until juices run clear when thigh is pierced, 2 1/2 to 3 hours total. Insert an instant-read thermometer in thickest part of thigh, avoiding the bone. Temperature should reach 180 degrees. Let rest 30 minutes before carving.

Cook's Notes

If you are unable to find wild turkey,youcan use a fresh domestic bird forequally flavorful results. To spit-roastturkey, follow recipe up to step 3,then cook according to your roaster'smanufacturing instructions.

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