TACCHINO ALLA MELAGRANA – Turkey Roasted with Pomegranates

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This Renaissance-inspired recipe is adapted from Italian Slow and Savory by Joyce Goldstein–a wonderful book with authentic, simple dishes encouraging us to linger a little longer in the kitchen. This recipe may also be used with duck, Cornish game hens, or roasting chicken.


  • 1 turkey, 8-10 lbs.
  • juice of 4 pomegranates (about 1 C.) reduced over high heat to 1/2 C.
  • 1 C. fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 C. honey
  • 2 C. chicken stock, reduced over high heat to 1 C.
  • 2 T. grated orange zest
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 C. pomegranate kernels


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Rinse the turkey, pat dry, and place on a rack in a roasting pan.

In a small bowl, combine the reduced pomegranate juice, orange juice, and honey. Measure out one cup and set aside for finishing the sauce; use the remaining amount for basting the bird. Roast the turkey, basting every 20 minutes or so with the remaining pomegranate juice blend, until the juices run clear when you pierce a thigh joint with a skewer, or an instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh (away from bone) reaches 165ºF–about 2 and 1/2 hours.

Transfer the turkey to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. While the turkey is resting, make the sauce: in a small saucepan, combine the reserved cup of pomegranate juice blend, the reduced stock, and the grated orange zest mix; let simmer for a few minutes, and season to taste with salt & pepper.

Carve the turkey and arrange on a platter. Spoon the sauce over the meat, and garnish with additional pomegranate kernels. Serve at once.