Friday, November 13, 2009

Holiday Feast: Turkey

So, last week I made my very first turkey. I had made turkey breasts before but never a whole turkey. It will not be my last. This recipe made an amazingly moist and deliciously flavored turkey. I'm including the gravy recipe which I did not strictly follow but I'm sure is just as delicious.

Heather is also contributing turkey soup which is a perfect way to use up leftover turkey and to cook up the carcass.


SAGE BUTTER-ROASTED TURKEY with Cider Gravy (Alaina)
(Bon Appetit, November 2009)

For the Turkey:
3 Tb. coarse kosher salt
1 Tb. dried rubbed sage
1 16- to 18-lb. turkey, innards removed and bird is rinsed and patted dry (save the neck, heart, and gizzard  if you are making turkey stock - I did not do that)
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 c. chopped fresh sage
3/4 c. fresh refrigerated apple cider or fresh refrigerated apple juice

Rub salt and dried sage together in small bowl. Place turkey in roasting pan; sprinkle all over with sage salt. Cover pan with plastic wrap; chill turkey overnight (I chilled for about 6-8 hours).

Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 375°F. Pat turkey dry. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together loosely (mine were already tied). Stir butter and chopped sage in small saucepan over low heat until butter melts. Brush all over turkey; sprinkle with pepper.

Roast turkey 1 hr.; baste with any pan juices. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Roast turkey 45 min. Pour 3/4 c. apple cider over; turn pan around. Continue to roast turkey until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, basting and turning pan occasionally for even cooking, about 1 1/4 hrs. longer. Transfer turkey to platter; tent loosely with foil and let rest 30 to 45 min. (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).


For the Gravy:
2 c. (or more) turkey stock or low-salt chicken broth (I used broth)
3/4 c. fresh refrigerated apple cider or fresh refrigerated apple juice
2 Tb. all purpose flour
2 to 3 Tb. Calvados (apple brandy) or applejack brandy (I did not have either)
1 Tb. chopped fresh sage

Pour all pan juices into large measuring cup. Spoon off fat that rises to surface. Transfer 2 Tb. fat to heavy large saucepan; discard remaining fat. Place turkey roasting pan over 2 burners. Add 2 c. stock or broth and 3/4 c. cider. Bring to boil over high heat, scraping up browned bits. Boil liquid until reduced to 1 1/2 c., about 6 min. Add mixture from roasting pan to degreased pan juices. If necessary, add enough stock to measure 3 1/2 c stock mixture.

Place saucepan with turkey fat over medium-high heat. Add flour; whisk 2 min. Whisk in stock mixture. Boil until gravy thickens enough to coat spoon thinly, about 6 min. Whisk in  Calvados, or more to taste, and sage. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve turkey &  gravy together.

Here are a few of my turkey tips:
- Allow time to thaw.
- Check the neck as well as the cavity for innards.
- Make sure your thermometer is accurate or that the turkey comes with one that pops up.
- Don't stress - it's really not that hard!


      The taste of homemade turkey soup is deeply satisfying. After all the work and effort of the Thanksgiving meal, this soup can be put on the stove and nearly forgotten for most of the next day, with just a few additions just before serving.


      1 turkey carcass
      1 onion, peeled and quartered
      3 carrots, peeled and halved
      2-3 stalks celery, cut in 6-inch pieces

      1 pound carrots, shredded
      1/2 bunch celery, chopped

      Place the turkey carcass in a large pot and fill with water (ideally to cover the carcass, but if that's not possible, as far up the pot as safe for cooking). Add the onion, carrots and celery. Bring to a boil and simmer for several hours (I covered my pot and left it for 3-4 hours). Turn off the heat and let the soup cool some.


      When cool enough to handle, strain the broth into another pan and pick all the meat of the carcass. Put the meat in the pot with the strained broth and add the grated carrot and chopped celery. Bring to a boil and add noodles of your choice (I chose thin spaghetti broken into 1 1/2-inch pieces). You can also throw in cooked rice or barley instead of noodles. Simmer until the noodles are finished cooking. Season with salt and pepper.


      1. I love making this. I try to do it about every other week with a roaster chicken, and then freeze the rest for stock in other recipies! Yum...

      2. Nice receipt and sound delicious, will try, thanks for the info