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Spice Rub Roasted Turkey with Wild Rice & Lentil Pilaf

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Total time: 4 Hours

Servings: 15

Everyone has a go-to roast turkey recipe at the front of their recipe box, but don't let that stop you from trying our version. The wild rice & lentil pilaf addition will likely convert you for good!

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    1 12 lb (5.5 kg) thawed whole turkey


    2 tsp (10 mL) dried rosemary

    4 tsp (20 mL) dried thyme leaves

    4 tsp (20 mL) paprika

    4 tsp (20 mL) garlic powder

    ½ tsp (2 mL) ground sage

    ½ tsp (2 mL) kosher salt

    ½ tsp (2 mL) ground black pepper

    3 tsp (15 mL) brown sugar

    1 Tbsp (15 mL) orange zest

    1/3 cup (75 mL) room temperature butter


    2 cups (500 mL) diced carrots

    2 cups (500 mL) diced celery

    2 cups (500 mL) diced onion


    1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter

    2 cups (500 mL) thinly sliced leeks, halved and cleaned

    3 garlic cloves, chopped

    ¼ cup (60 mL) white wine

    2 cups (500 mL) wild rice

    4 cups (1 L) chicken stock

    2 cups (500 mL) cooked green lentils

    3 Tbsp (45 mL) chopped fresh chives


  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F (160˚C). For the spice paste: using a spice blender, process the dry ingredients. Transfer the mix to a small bowl and mix well with butter. For the turkey, remove any organ packages, and plastic inserts that may be inside. Rinse inside and around the turkey in the sink using low water pressure to avoid splashing. Pat the turkey dry using paper towels. Starting at the large end cavity, gently slide your fingers between the skin and flesh of thighs and breast to loosen the skin. Spread the paste under the skin. Use a long spoon to get the smaller/harder to reach areas of the turkey. Season the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper.
  2. Place carrots, celery, and onion in a large roasting pan and position the turkey on top, breast side up. Cook the turkey for 3-3.5 hours or until internal temperature of the breast reads 170°F (77°C) and 180°F (82°C) in the thigh using a meat thermometer. Baste the turkey as needed.
  3. Approximately 1 hour before the turkey is ready, heat a large pot and melt the butter. Add leeks and garlic and sauté until golden. Deglaze the pot with wine, add rice, and chicken stock and stir once. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Once the rice is cooked, add the cooked lentils, chives, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside until turkey is ready.
  4. When turkey is ready, remove from oven and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes. Transfer the base vegetables to the pilaf using a slotted spoon and heat the mixture if it is not already hot.
  5. Lay the pilaf down on a serving platter and place the whole or cut turkey pieces on top. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs and serve family-style.

Nutritional Information

  • Serving Size: 2 1/4 cups (560 mL)
  • Per serving:
  • Calories 850
  • Total Fat 26 g
  • Saturated Fat 10 g
  • Cholesterol 280 mg
  • Carbohydrates 32 g
  • Dietary Fibre 5 g
  • Sugar 5 g
  • Protein 114 g
  • Sodium 440 mg
  • Potassium 1508 mg
  • Folate 118 mcg