Sicilian Heritage Turkey

Sicilian Heritage Turkey

By Rosario Di Liberto

Born and raised in Sicily, Saro di Liberto, is no doubt one of the best chefs we have ever met. As is the tradition with most true Italian recipes, his recipe for turkey is very simple. Saro believes that with meat of this caliber, you should treat it lightly and let it do most of the work for you. He would never brine! Enjoy!


Handful each of: 
  • Fresh sage
  • Rosemary
  • Laurel, divided
  • Basil
  • 2 lemons, sliced, divided
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and smashed, divided
  • 1 bottle of champagne


Generously salt inside the cavity, then place a handful each of fresh sage, rosemary, laurel (reserve some laurel for outside the turkey) and basil, along with half the lemon slices and half of the garlic cloves (peeled and smashed).

Rub the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper.

Pierce several slits in the breast, thighs and legs of the turkey inserting salt, pepper and garlic into the holes.

On top of the holes place laurel and a thin slice of lemon and attach it with a toothpick.

Place in oven for a half hour at 325 degrees F, take out and pour 2 glasses of champagne over the bird.

Place bird back in oven for another hour and then pour another glass of champagne over it.

Regardless of what recipe you follow for your turkey, our general rule of thumb is that the bird is done the second you cut into the meat and the juice runs clear! Keeping a close watch of your bird can prevent overcooking.

For great results every time, cook heritage turkeys low and slow at 325 degrees F. Ovens differ, but calculate 12-15 minutes per pound on average.

We recommend a simple turkey preparation without stuffing (which elongates cooking time). The USDA states the minimum internal temperature for turkey should be 165 degrees but the chefs we work with say 15 degrees less is best because the temperature of the bird will continue to rise outside the oven.