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Thanksgiving Turkey

December 2, 2009

I am always on the look out for new turkey ideas.  This year I tried out an older recipe from Bon Appétit — I really liked that you didn’t have to brine the bird AND it turned out very tender and juicy.  Yumm!

You will need:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 2 t minced fresh thyme plus 15 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 t minced fresh tarragon plus 5 large fresh tarragon sprigs
  • 2 t minced fresh rosemary plus 5 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 t minced fresh sage plus 5 fresh sage sprigs
  • 1 14- to 16-pound turkey
  • 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • Kitchen twine

Let’s get started:

  1. Mix 1/2 cup butter and all minced herbs in small bowl; season herb butter with salt and pepper. Transfer 2 generous tablespoons to another small bowl and reserve for gravy; let stand at room temperature.
  2. Tie together all the herb sprigs into one easily movable bundle.
  3. Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 425°F. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry.
  4. Starting at neck end, slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin. Rub 4 tablespoons herb butter over breast meat under skin.
  5. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Sprinkle main cavity generously with salt and pepper. Place 4 tablespoons plain butter and all fresh herb sprigs in main cavity.
  6. Tuck wing tips under. Tie legs together loosely. Rub remaining herb butter over outside of turkey. Sprinkle turkey generously with salt and pepper.

I promise this ends up ridiculously delicious!

  1. Place turkey in oven and roast 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Roast turkey 30 minutes; pour 1 cup broth over and add 1 tablespoon plain butter to roasting pan.
  2. Roast turkey 30 minutes; baste with pan juices, then pour 1 cup broth over and add 1 tablespoon butter to pan. Cover turkey loosely with foil.
  3. Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, basting with pan juices and adding 1 cup broth and 1 tablespoon butter to pan every 45 minutes, about 1 hour 45 minutes longer. Transfer turkey to platter; let stand 30 minutes (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).

All done!

NOTE:  To make gravy, I took the “easy” way out.  I picked up two bottles of Boston Market brand turkey gravy from the grocery store, which I mixed in to the pan drippings.  I brought it to a simmer on the stove top and added a little flour to thicken.  It was great, especially with the reduced chicken stock and everything else that ended up in the bottom of the pan.

DOUBLE NOTE:  Ah ha!  Gotcha!  We also dumped the entire carcass into a stock pot after the meal, along with an onion and some carrots.  It simmered all night into a glorious golden brown turkey stock.  It smelled so good that I’m almost looking forward to getting sick and needing the soup!

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One comment

  1. Wow, with this I might actually consider finally having turkey for Thanksgiving next year!



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