Thanksgiving TurkeyDecember 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:
- 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.
- Tie together all the herb sprigs into one easily movable bundle.
- Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 425°F. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry.
- Starting at neck end, slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin. Rub 4 tablespoons herb butter over breast meat under skin.
- 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.
- Tuck wing tips under. Tie legs together loosely. Rub remaining herb butter over outside of turkey. Sprinkle turkey generously with salt and pepper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
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!