There is something splendid about an herb-roasted Thanksgiving turkey, not the least of which is the way it fills the home with rich, savory aromas.
So with this recipe, we didn't want to stray too far from that ideal. But we did want to mix things up just a bit. We drew our inspiration from Argentina's chimichurri sauce, which is made by blending both fresh and dried herbs, garlic and vinegar. It's a classic accompaniment to roasted meat.
So we made two variations of the sauce, a thicker butter-based one that is slathered under the skin of the turkey before roasting, and a thinner olive oil version that is served alongside the finished bird in place of gravy.
CHIMICHURRI ROAST TURKEY
Start to finish: 2 1/2 to 3 hours
Makes a 12- to 14-pound turkey with sauce
3 bunches fresh cilantro, divided
3 bunches fresh parsley, divided
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
12- to 14-pound turkey, giblets and neck removed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup loose fresh oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Heat the oven to 350 F. Place a rack in a large roasting pan and fit the turkey onto the rack. Pat the turkey dry all over with paper towels.
In a food processor, blend together 1 bunch of cilantro, 1 punch of parsley, the butter and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Rub the mixture under the skin and inside the cavity of the bird.
Roast the turkey for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, covering it with foil if the skin starts to darken too much. The temperature of the breast should reach 160 F and the thigh should reach 170 F.
Transfer the turkey to a serving platter. Cover with foil, then several layers of kitchen towels to allow the meat to rest but keep warm.
While the turkey rests (or beforehand, if desired) make the sauce. In the food processor, combine the remaining 2 bunches of cilantro and 2 bunches of parsley with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic cloves, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Puree until everything is finely chopped. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve the sauce at room temperature alongside the turkey.