Healthy Recipes

Pancetta and Sage-Basted Heritage Turkey

A layer of pancetta adds a flavorful self-basting element.

Pancetta and Sage-Basted Heritage Turkey
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8 sage leaves
10 cloves garlic, peeled
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 12-pound heritage turkey
½ pound thinly sliced pancetta


1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
2. Pound sage and garlic to a paste with salt and pepper with a mortar and pestle. Transfer paste to a small bowl and whisk in olive oil.
3. Carefully but forcefully slide your fingertips under the skin of the turkey to loosen, all the way from the breast down around the leg and thigh (You will, quite literally, be up to your elbows In turkey, so remove any jewelry before doing this). Rub all but 1 tablespoon of the paste under the skin, massaging it all over the flesh. Coat the outside of the turkey with remaining paste.
4. Working with one slice at a time, from thigh upward, place a single layer of pancetta on the turkey under the skin. Let turkey come to room temperature.
5. Spray a piece of parchment paper with olive oil and lay it on a V-rack In a roasting pan. Lay turkey, breast down, on it and insert the instant read probe of an external thermometer into the deepest part of the thigh, without touching bone. Pour 2 cups water into the roasting pan. Roast for 90 minutes, then flip the turkey over and discard the parchment paper.
6. Roast for another 60 to 90 minutes (add water if need be), until the internal temperature reads 160° F. Remove turkey and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutritional facts: 

Serves 8 to 10. Per serving: 495 calories, 18 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 77 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 830 mg sodium