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Salt-Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Oregano Recipe

por Sabores de México

I love oregano. I consider it as one of my favorite ingredients for seasoning and to give dishes like stew, and hundreds of other Mexican recipes, an extra note of explosive flavor. I know very well that oregano is not Mexican, but I feel that it has become ours. When I found this Salt-Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Oregano Recipe, I didn’t wait for a minute to make it. And it did not disappoint me. It came out as good at I had imagined. I share the recipe with you here, hoping that you will enjoy it as much as we all did in my house.

Recipe by Bruce Aidells

Photograph by Hans Gissinger

8 to 10 servings
  • PREP: 30 minutes
  • TOTAL: 21 hours 45 minutes (includes salting and roasting time)

INGREDIENTS for Salt-Roasted Turkey with Oregano and Lemon

For the Salt Rub

  • 1/3 cup coarse kosher salt (preferably Diamond Crystal brand)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2tbsp finely grated lemon peel
  • 2tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1tbsp ground black pepper

For the Filling

  • 1 14- to 16-pound turkey; neck, heart, and gizzard reserved for Ultimate Turkey Stock
  • 3 lemons, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 3 1/2 to 41/2 cups Ultimate Turkey Stock or low-salt chicken broth, divided
  • Greek-Inspired Fresh Oregano and Giblet Pan Gravy

Pavo al orégano y limón


Salt Rub

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until the integrate perfectly. Cover the turkey outside and inside with the rub until it is perfectly covered. Place the turkey in a bag, close it, and leave it to marinate for 18-24 hours.

To Roast Turkey 

  • Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 350°F. Place rack in large roasting pan. Remove excess rub from turkey; pat dry. Combine lemons and the next 6 ingredients, 1/4 cup oil, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice in large bowl; spoon into the main cavity of the turkey. Whisk remaining oil and lemon juice in a small bowl. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs loosely. Place turkey on rack; brush with some lemon oil.
  • Pour 2 cups stock into roasting pan. Roast turkey 1 hour. Brush all over with remaining lemon oil. Roast turkey 45 minutes; pour 1 cup stock into pan. Roast 45 minutes; add 1/2 cup to 1 1/2 cups stock to pan to maintain liquid level. Turn pan around. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, about 45 minutes longer. Transfer turkey to platter; reserve pan with juices. Tent turkey loosely with foil; let rest 30 to 45 minutes (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).
  • While turkey rests, prepare gravy.



  • Reserved Turkey Juice
  • 4 1/2 Cups of the reduced Turkey Juice or Chicken Broth without Fat
  • Reduction sauce from the turkey neck, gizzard
  • 1 cup of finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 tbsp freshly chopped oregano
  • 2 tbsp lime juice


Reserve all of the juice from roasting the turkey and measure the amount in cups. With a spoon, remove and reserve the fat until you get ½ cup or more of the fat. Add the cooking juices and supplement with turkey juice reduction or fat-free chicken broth to obtain 5 cups.

Place the tray that the turkey was roasted in on the burners of the stove. Add ½ cup of the reserved fat  over medium heat. Add the onion and season until it changes color and softens, approximately 5 minutes. Add the flour until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the juices and beat until everything is perfectly integrated and then add the wine. Cook until the sauce thickens and covers the spoon when you remove it. Stir from below so it does not stick at the bottom and do not burn the sauce, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add oregano, lemon juice, and finely chopped organs. Season with salt and pepper.

We have many options to cook turkey. If it is your first time preparing one, here is the lEasiest Turkey Recipe

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