We stocked up on turkeys when the prices were down. So this makes our second turkey in just a couple of weeks. Our first turkey, of course was for Thanksgiving. Larry smoked that one. I made this one Italian style by cooking it in a tomato-herb vinaigrette. I decided to make an Italian tomato turkey for a couple of reasons. 1) I always love trying something new. 2) I love all kinds of Italian foods. and 3) I had some tomatoes that needed to be used.
This was only a partial turkey though. We used the breasts for our bacon wrapped turkey that I marinated in a chipotle lime sauce for our party. Another Fun Party
I made my vinaigrette first, then poured it over the turkey and roasted it all together. The house smelled just heavenly and the turkey was so tender and juicy and full of flavor. I used a combination of both fresh and dried herbs for the tomato vinaigrette. This vinaigrette is perfect for both a marinade as well as for a salad.
Tomato Herb Vinaigrette
1 1/2-2 lbs tomatoes
1-2 TBSP garlic
4-5 TBSP red wine vinegar
2-3 TBSP lemon balsamic vinegar, optional
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 TBSP mixed herbs of your choice
Place everything in a food processor and blend until it is a liquid and everything is blended together.
This time, for my herbs, I used what I had on hand, and it was a combination of both dried and fresh herbs. I had some dried basil and oregano, then threw in some fresh rosemary and thyme. I have found the best ratio for dried vs fresh herbs is about 1:3. For every tsp of dried herbs, it is about 1 TBSP of fresh herbs. We eat a lot of tomatoes. So far I haven’t found a tomato I didn’t like, which means, I almost always have a variety of different tomatoes on hand at any given time too. So I love to mix and match my tomatoes.
Once the marinade is made, pour most of it all over the turkey, or chicken, and reserve some for later.
Preheat the oven to about 350* F or about 190* C. Cover the turkey in foil and roast for about 2 hours. Remove the foil and continue to roast, uncovered, until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165* F or about 75* C. Allow the turkey to cool for a few minutes before slicing. When serving the turkey, add a bit more vinaigrette on top. It was almost like a second Thanksgiving, because we still had a little dressing left and then I roasted up more vegetables to serve with it. (I still have about 1/2 of the big pumpkin left, so there is still more pumpkin in our future). 🙂
There are countless ways to cook a turkey, but I have to admit, the old fashioned way of roasting it in the oven is still my favorite way, by far. I just find it is always juiciest when roasted properly in the oven. We smoked our turkey for Thanksgiving, and it was very good, but I also thought it was a bit dry.
I made some herbed olive bread too, but I started it too late, and it was still in the oven when Larry was ready to eat. So, I had some olive bread for dessert instead. 🙂 More on the herbed olive bread later.
Happy Holidays Everyone. Stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.