1 1/2 Tablespoon Fennel Seeds
3 garlic cloves
1 large lemon (or two small) juiced and zested
1 1/2 Tablespoons dried oregano
1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
6-7 pound Petite Turkey*
Large pinch of salt
Fresh ground peppercorns
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 Tablespoons cold water
handful or more of Spanish olives (not canned)
1-2 more lemons, cut in half to garnish.
A handful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1. Using a mortar & pestle, crush the fennel seeds well, grate the garlic cloves, and then combine with the rest of the paste ingredients: lemon zest, half the lemon juice, oregano, smoked paprika pinch of salt and pepper (to taste), the olive oil and 1 Tbls of water. Grind until well combined, adding more water if needed to get a spreadable paste. Alternately, you can mix everything to a small food processor or blender – I used my Blendtec Twister container and it worked fabulously!
2. Spatchcock the petite turkey. Bonus tip: it should be thawed, haha. I love how simple this video makes it!
OPTIONAL: If you have the patience and time, use a small, sharp knife to separate the skin of the turkey breast and legs, being careful not to cut into the flesh or tear the skin. This way you can rub either some marinade paste or other herbed ghee/butter and such under the skin, for extra flavor and tenderness.
3. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, this will help the marinade paste to stick better. Rub the paste all over the chicken, covering evenly (and under the skin if desired).
4. Preheat the oven to 230°C. Give it a good 20 minutes to preheat. This will also give the turkey some time to blend with the marinade paste and bring the turkey to room temperature.
5. For this small turkey, we used a 12 inch cast iron skillet for roasting. Carefully add the Spatchcocked turkey to the pan, breast side up. Then squeeze the other half of the lemon over the turkey. Garnish with the other lemons (cut in half, cut side facing up), and add the olives to the pan.
7. Place in the oven and roast at 230ºF for about 30 minutes*. Check the internal temperature and then lower the oven temp to 400 degrees and continue to cook the bird for another 20 minutes or so. Cover with foil if the bird starts to get too crispy to prevent burning.
NOTE: This timing is for a 6-7 pound bird – it is recommended to roast turkeys for around 6 minutes per pound, so just do some quick math if you have a larger bird and adjust accordingly.
8. The turkey is ready to take out of the oven when a thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the breast, without touching the bone, reaches 65°C (the thickest part of the thigh should be around 75°C – it’s okay if the thigh temperature exceeds 75°C; dark meat isn’t as noticeably affected as breast meat by a bit of over-cooking – just shoot for the internal temperature of the breast at its thickest part to be 65°C.)