Mustard & Za’atar Barbecued Turkey
For me, cooking is just playing with food, and you can never go wrong by trying. I came up with the idea for barbecuing the turkey years ago while hosting Christmas at our farmhouse. I was struggling to fit everything into my oven, so my mom and I decided to try barbecuing it. I haven’t roasted a turkey in an oven since! Inviting people over to share a meal is a special experience, and any effort will be appreciated, so just enjoy yourself, open a bottle of wine, and let the good times roll.
(Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that consists of thyme, sumac, roasted sesame seeds, marjoram, oregano and salt. Since this recipe requires indirect heat, it is suitable for gas barbecues but not charcoal ones.)
• 3 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
• 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 3 tsp za’atar
• Zest of 3 limes
• 1 12-to14-lb. fresh or frozen (thawed), grade A or free-range turkey, giblets and neck removed
• 2 lemons, halved, divided
• 1 onion, halved
• 5 whole sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions (serves 8 to 10):
1. Mix mustards, oil, za’atar and lime zest in medium bowl to create paste.
1. Spread paste evenly over turkey skin.
2. Stuff 2 lemon halves, 2 onion halves and 5 thyme sprigs inside turkey cavity.
3. Season turkey with salt and pepper.
1. Turn gas barbecue on high. Once it reaches 500°F, turn off burner that will be directly under turkey.
2. Place marinated turkey and remaining 2 lemon halves in large roasting pan.
3. Place roasting pan with turkey above burner that is turned off. Close lid. Barbecue turkey until skin looks crispy and golden, approximately 11 minutes per pound, or until instant read thermometer inserted into meatiest part of thigh reads 165°F and juices run clear when turkey is pricked with a knife.
4. Turn off barbecue and let flames go out before removing turkey from grill. Transfer turkey to cutting board using pair of large barbecue forks. Carve turkey and serve.