Thanksgiving Series No. 3: Turkey Recipes

Roasting a turkey at high heat produces the most flavorful, moist turkey. If you choose to roast at high temperatures, you cannot stuff the turkey with traditional dressing. The stuffing will not be heated through because of the short cooking time. Of course, this can cause salmonella poisoning and you do not want that! You can use fruits such as lemons, oranges, apple, figs, etc to stuff your turkey. Please be sure to have a very clean oven for high heat roasting. The temperature will cause any food bits to smoke.

What you will need:
One 16 pound turkey
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
For brine:
2 cups kosher salt
8 quarts water

If brining, dissolve salt in water in a large stock pot. Add turkey and refrigerate overnight. Remove from brine, rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Proceed as below.

For stock:
Neck, gizzard and heart from turkey, rinsed and dried
canola oil
1 medium onion cut in half
1 medium carrot
1 stalk celery
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon pepper corns
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
Place a small volume of oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add neck, gizzard and heart and cook, turning until browned. Add the remaining stock ingredients and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, skimming foam from time to time. Strain and set aside. This can be done well ahead of the rest of the meal.
Roasting the turkey:

Rinse inside and out, dry with paper towels and bring turkey to room temperature, keeping skin covered with a moist towel to prevent drying. Preheat oven to 500 degrees (450 degrees works nearly as well; cooking times will be slightly longer). Sprinkle turkey with ground pepper and salt and place into a roasting pan. Cook, rotating pan 180 degrees after 1 hour; add 1 -2 cups water or chicken stock to pan if drippings appear to be turning too dark. Check temperature in the thickest part of the thigh at 1 ¾ hours. Remove from oven when temperature is 170 degrees, about 2 hour’s total cooking time for unstuffed turkey. Add approximately 30 minutes if you have stuffed the turkey. Let turkey sit for 30 minutes, during which the temperature in the thigh should reach 180 degrees.

While turkey is resting, pour fat from roasting pan and place pan over medium – high heat. Pour stock into pan; boil, scraping up the browned fond from the pan. Boil until reduced nearly by half, check and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep hot and serve with turkey.


Felicia said...

Whoever made that turkey is my brand new aunt/uncle...something like that ... :)

MySweetThree said...

Ha ha to that comment from Felicia, by the way. That has got to be the best looking turkey methinks I have ever seen! =)
(I think "methinks" is a word, but if it is not, well, then it should be)