Marinated Turkey Breast with Cumin, Coriander, and White Wine

first published October 2013

From the very talented chef, Yotam Ottolenghi, this is a great recipe if you’re not cooking for a big crowd this holiday season…or any other time for that matter.    You can find this and other recipes in his newest book Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.   Here is his introduction to the recipe:

Although turkey is more frequently associated with a sweet red relish, we serve it here with a lemony sauce of herbs and cumin.  It is enormously popular around Christmas and Thanksgiving, as it is both traditional and original.  The same sauce would work very well with lamb.  You can serve this dish either warm or at room temperature.


  • 4 tbsp mint leaves
  • 4 tbsp parsley leaves
  • 4 tbsp coriander leaves [cilanto]
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 4 tbsp/60 ml lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp/60 ml olive oil
  • 1/2 cup/125 ml white wine
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small organic or free-range turkey breast (about 2-1/4 lb/1kg)

1. Put all the ingredients except the turkey breast in a food processor or blender and process for 1-2 minutes to get a smooth marinade. Put the turkey in a non-metallic container and pour the marinade over it. Massage the marinade into the meat, cover the container, and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. Make sure the turkey is immersed in the sauce.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 F/220 C.  Remove the turkey from the marinade (keep the marinade for later) and put it on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, then reduce them temperature to 400 F/200 C.  Continue to cook for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature again to 350F/180C.  Cook until the turkey is done, another 30 to 45 minutes. To check, stick a small knife all the way into the center; it should come out hot. If the meat goes dark before it is ready, cover it with aluminum foil.

3. To prepare the sauce, heat the turkey marinade in a small saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes, until reduced by about half. Taste and season with some more salt and pepper.

4. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice it thinly and serve with warm sauce.

5. To serve cold, leave the meat to cool completely and then slice. Adjust the seasoning of the sauce once it is cold and serve on the side.

(serves 4 to 6)