Chef Feker’s Amazingly Thankful Turkey

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Looking for a way to freshen up that turkey dinner this Thanksgiving? Chef Feker has some thoughts on the subject — if you’re willing to experiment.

Serves: 12

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: about 3 hours depending on your oven

Chef’s Tools: Instant read thermometer


  • 3 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 4 tablespoon  Paprika
  • 4 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 3 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 teaspoon of ground fennel
  • 1 whole turkey (12 to 14 pounds), fresh or if frozen, thawed under cold water and brined if you can
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 lemons cut in quarters
  • 1onion cut in quarters
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • 4 bays leaf
  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature 


1. Place oven rack in lowest position. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place roasting rack in shallow roasting pan or use some largely cut carrots and onions as a rack. Mix first 8 ingredients in small bowl.

2. After rinsing and drying the turkey with a paper towel. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the seasoning mixture inside of turkey. Stuff with lemons, rosemary, onion and bay leaves. Brush turkey with olive oil. Spread 1/2 remaining seasoning mixture over entire surface the other half of remaining seasoning and the butter under the skin of turkey. Add 1/2 cup water to pan; cover the breast loosely with heavy duty foil. 

3. Roast for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 325 and basting occasionally with pan juices roast for another hour before removing the foil. Remove foil and Roast while basting occasionally with pan juices for another 90 minutes. Check the internal temperature.  Once internal temperature reaches 155°F (165°F in thigh). Turn off the oven and a low to sit in the oven for 10 more minutes.  Remove turkey from oven. Let rest for at least 20 minutes tented. Transfer to serving platter or carving board. Strain pan juices remove fat to make gravy or to serve with turkey.