A sweet and savory Thanksgiving, 2013

Citrus – Herb Roast Turkey

Rachel and Michael Speckan

We enjoy cooking together. The rhythm, cadence and shared interactive experience keep us engaged in health and happiness. Working together to create a delicious meal, trying new recipes, and collaborating on dishes!

The interplay of savory, sweetness, umami, salt, and sour flavors mingle with lovely and persistent aromatics, which bathes the turkey with the essence of the Thanksgiving.  The herb seasoned salt and butter on this bird are a bright and herbal mix of ingredients and sensations. Fresh, torn and chopped thyme leaves, flat leaf parsley and fresh orange and lemon zest and wedges, play nicely with allspice, garlic and dried herbs.  The skin caramelizes and becomes crispy, encasing a juicy bird.



Tucker Dog helps, too.






Remove the bag of giblets from the cavity and save neck, liver, gizzard

Stuff cavity with fresh herbs – flat leaf parsley, thyme, fresh citrus, and dried herbs – rosemary, tarragon, allspice, as well as halved orange and lemon. Add smashed garlic cloves, herb salt, shallot, and sweet Vidalia onion.


Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper mixed with green herbs


Cut skin away and rub herbed salt and butter underneath skin

Truss legs with twine


Tuck wings

Roast at 425 for 30 min


Baste and cover, drop heat to 350. Roast for 13 minutes per pound. Uncover for final 15 minutes.


Upon achieving 165 degrees, remove from oven, tent bird and let rest.




Giblet Gravy

Utilizing the tasty morsels and internal organs of the turkey bird, this gravy utilized the neck, gizzard, heart and liver to create complexity, richness and depth.  The organs bring an earthy dimension to the gravy, lending layers of texture.

Create a turkey stock while the bird roasts with carrot, shallot, garlic, bay leaf, thyme.  Add a cup of white wine, 4 cups of water and the giblets and slowly simmer.


Strain liquid to remove solids. Finely chop the giblets and add to strained liquid. Return to a simmer. Melt a pat of butter.


Once turkey is finished roasting, add drippings from the bird, sprinkle in 3 Tablespoons of flour and reduce. Cook until slightly thick. Add a squeeze of lemon, freshly cracked pepper.

Wine Pairings :



Zind-Humbrect Grand Cru Brand Vendages Tardive 2006, Alsace, France – Riesling

A late harvest delight, tinged with the honeyed complexity of botrytis.  The wine smells of buttered mushroom and soft-ripened cheese, apricot preserves and honeycomb with slightly oiled, salted Marcona almonds. The age peeks through with a hint of petrol, sandalwood and golden date. Luxuriously silky on the palate, fresh green herb notes and the spiciness of preserved ginger echo the tingle of acidity that brightens the honeyed sweetness.  Paired with the bird, this wine is absolutely stunning, heavenly. The wine and food each enhance the other, each subtle yet bold, elevating the dining experience exponentially.



Sottimano ‘Mate’ 2012, Piedmont, Italy – Brachetto

A still, dry Brachetto that captures the delicate floral aromatics of the grape. Freshly plucked rose and cherry blossom with sweet tart cherry, pomegranate and wild woodland strawberry.  Woodsy mushroom and sappy tree bark, sweet green herbs and tomato leaf with singed blood orange peel.  Bright and prickly acidity with soft, mellow tannin. This wine highlights the herbal aromatics of the bird, heightens the spices, and counters salinity.  Mouthwateringly juicy!


And, the Speckan family Thanksgiving celebration!