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Red-roasted free-range turkey with Turkish pepperoni

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for red roasted free-range turkey with Turkish pepperoni.

By George Biron
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking plus curing, cooling, resting
  • Serves 6
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Red roasted free-range turkey with Turkish pepperoni
"Turkey is an often-neglected meat with wonderful deep flavour," says Biron. "Its reputation has been largely besmirched by dodgy over-sized Christmas offerings. For this recipe I recommend you use free-range thigh meat; it's available throughout the year from good poultry suppliers." You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 1 free-range boneless turkey thigh (about 1kg; see note)
  • 50 gm coarse cooking salt
  • 50 gm coffee sugar crystals
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • To serve: Greek-style yoghurt
Spice mix
  • 2 tbsp coriander seed
  • 1½ tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp each cumin and fennel seed
  • 1 tsp isot pepper (see note)
Turkish pepperoni
  • 500 gm sweet long yellow and red capsicum
  • 50 ml (2½ tbsp) olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 6 firm ripe peaches, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced mint
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds


  • 1
    For spice mix, dry-roast spices until fragrant (20 seconds), coarsely crush in a mortar and pestle and set aside.
  • 2
    Place turkey in a non-reactive container. Combine salt and sugar in a bowl with half the spice mix, rub all over turkey, cover and refrigerate until lightly cured (18 hours).
  • 3
    Rinse turkey under cold running water, pat dry with absorbent paper, cover with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature.
  • 4
    For Turkish pepperoni, preheat oven to 200C. Place capsicum in a roasting pan and roast, turning occasionally, until golden (20-30 minutes), then transfer to a bowl to cool (10-15 minutes). When cool enough to handle, peel (discard seeds and skins), cut into strips and transfer to a bowl. Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, cook until tender (5 minutes), add garlic and remaining spice mix, stir until just golden (2-3 minutes), add roast capsicum, stir until soft (5-6 minutes), then add molasses and keep warm. Just before serving, add peach, herbs and pomegranate seeds and toss to combine.
  • 5
    Reduce oven to 170C. Rub turkey with olive oil, place on an oiled wire rack over a roasting pan and roast until turkey is just cooked and juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer (40-45 minutes). Cover with foil and rest for 15 minutes, then slice turkey across the grain and serve with Turkish pepperoni and yoghurt.


You'll need to order large free-range turkey thighs ahead; they're available from Pooginagoric Free-range Turkeys and specialist poultry suppliers. Isot pepper, also known as urfa biber, is a dried Turkish pepper; it's available from Turkish food shops.
This recipe is from the March 2012 issue of
Drink Suggestion: Pinot noir Drink suggestion by George Biron