Paleo Turkey Prep- Take Two


I did NOT love how my Thanksgiving turkey that I prepared for our gathering of friends turned out.  I used to brine it in salt, but now that I no longer use salt, I skipped what turned out to be a crucial step.  My turkey was dry, even though I poured plenty of broth into the roasting pan on top of the veggies I put under the bird.
Please help!  I am also hosting Christmas (this time for family!) and I do NOT want to serve dried-up meat.  Is there any way to make it moist and savory AND still be Paleo?


Melissa, Phoenix

This is probably one of the most common inquiries, even for those who are not Paleo!  "How to cook a lovely Thanksgiving turkey properly" has become such an issue that I've had clients who won't even give it an attempt, lest they ruin the meal.

There are a few things you can do.

I personally prefer to cook a bone-in, skin on breast only, if I'm hosting for smaller groups.  I approach it the same way I'd prep chicken!  The idea is to cook in a lower temp for a few hours, depending on the weight of the bird, then finish with a blast of heat to give it a nicely browned finish.

However, since you can hardly sear a turkey breast in a cast iron skillet, you can mock the step by placing it in a very hot oven for the initial cooking, and then turn it down.

  • Preheat oven to 275F.
  • Place chopped veggies of your choice into a flat, roasting pan.  I opted for onion, carrot and celery.
  • Douse with olive oil and add some homemade broth, and perhaps some fresh sage and thyme.
  • Place a wire rack on top of the pan.
  • Place the turkey breast, skin side down, on top, then drizzle with olive oil.


  • Cook  for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or under the internal temp reached 150F.  
  • Raise heat to 500 and cook for about 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest for 15', then check to make sure the temp has exceeeded 160F. 


Carve and serve with copious Holiday veggies!