The Bilancio Purple Turkey 1


A lot of people on Facebook have asked what a purple turkey is. It’s a turkey that marinades in wine for 5 to 7 days before cooking. So when it comes out of the marinade it’s purple.

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So you all can enjoy a great tasting turkey here is the recipe for the marinade for a 12-pound turkey and instructions:

3 cups dry red wine
2 ½ cups chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic minced
5 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

For a good dry red wine to use I recommend a good jug wine. I use Carlo Rossi Paisano wine, but lately I have also used Charles Shaw Chardonnay from Trader Joe’s.

If your turkey is larger than 12 pounds add more wine and garlic and bay leaves and if your turkey is defrosted it won‘t have to marinate the full 7 days, but I usually just put it in frozen and let it defrost in the bowl as it marinades.

Put the turkey breast down into a clean unscented garbage bag and then put bag and turkey in a big bowl. Pour all the ingredients into the bag and tie bag as tight and close to the bird less air in the bag the better. Every 24 hours turn the turkey so it marinades evenly. When you are ready to cook the turkey remove it from the marinade and bag, then drain out the turkey and pat it dry inside and out, then put in a roster pan and let it sit and warm up about 30 min before roasting it.

Remember to remove the pack of giblets and turkey neck before cooking. Since I put the turkey in the marinade frozen I let them all marinate as well and then use them for the gravy with the drippings from the turkey giving it a great taste.

Throw out the marinade and bag since it’s had raw poultry in it and is contaminated now and shouldn’t be used for anything else.

Cook the turkey till it has an internal temperature of 163 degrees. I usually pull it out when it’s between 158 to 160 since it will keep cooking while it rests and will get to the internal temp of 163, this way it won’t over cook and get a little dry. When the turkey is taken out of the oven it will be a dark golden brown and the meat will be moist and tasty. Let the turkey rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.


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