Pan Seared Turkey with Cranberry Pear Relish


Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if you’re still looking for the perfect Thanksgiving Day turkey recipe, I have a treat for you.

This turkey recipe takes a turn from the traditional roast turkey recipe by starting with a cut down turkey. Instead of a huge bird stuffed into the oven on Thanksgiving Day, you’ll pan sear your turkey in parts.

Not sure how to break down a turkey quickly and easily? This quick video tutorial will guide you and leave you with a deconstructed turkey ready for Thanksgiving serving.


Pan Seared Turkey with Cranberry Pear Relish


For the turkey:

4 cups water

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

10 whole allspice berries

10 whole cloves

10 whole black peppercorns

5 whole star anise

1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1 whole (11- to 15-pound) turkey, cut into 8 pieces (2 wings, 2 legs, 2 breasts, 2 thighs)

1 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons fresh lemon zest

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

For the relish:

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2 (3-inch) strips lemon zest, removed with a vegetable peeler

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 pound (4 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed if frozen

4 ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks


For the turkey:

  1. In a very large resealable plastic bag, combine the water, sugar, allspice, cloves, peppercorns, star anise, and 1/2 cup salt. Seal tightly and shake to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the turkey parts, seal tightly, and place in a large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well, and pat dry with paper towels. In a snall bowl, combine the parsley, sage, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, oil, and 2 teaspoons salt. Carefully run your hand between the turkey skin and meat to loosen the skin, then rub the parsley mixture over the meat and under the skin. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  4. Rub each piece of turkey with olive oil to lightly coat. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat the bottom with olive oil. Working in batches, sear the turkey parts until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the browned pieces to a half-sheet pan and arrange in a single layer.
  5. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each piece registers 170°F, about 45 minutes. Start checking the pieces at 40 minutes and transfer each piece from the pan to a dish as it cooks through. Smaller parts, like the thighs, will be done earlier and the larger pieces, like the drumsticks, can take up to 1 hour. Serve with the cranberry relish.

For the relish:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the onion, sugar, wine, ginger, lemon zest, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cranberries and pears and simmer for 20 minutes or until the cranberries and onion have softened. The sauce will become a rich scarlet color.
  3. Remove and discard the lemon zest. Let cool to room temperature before serving.


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