Happy Thursday Smackers!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I know I have been MIA, I've had way too much going on outside the URL world. I am however, getting things manageable so I will be back shortly. I didn't want to leave you hanging on Thursday though so I thought I would re-post this TURKEY TUTORIAL so you don't have to go hunting for it in the archives! See you soon Smackers! Have a HAPPY TURKEY DAY!
Happy Thursday Smackers!
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THANKSGIVING FAMILY FAVORITES
Let's be honest. Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without the BIRD. I love the turkey. The turkey and the dressing are my favorite parts. Oh...and the gravy. Turkey gravy is to. die. for.
I thought this week I would share my secrets for making the perfect bird. I've made turkey every which way. I've brined them. I've cooked them covered. I've cooked them uncovered. Fried. Baked. I've had them stuffed. Definitely not my favorite, but feel free to stuff the bird if you like. My favorite is roasted.
Trust me no brine needed. No injected spices concoction needed. Just the bird, some butter, salt and pepper. That's essentially it.
Here's what you do. I even did a picture tutorial for you this weekend. Yep! We had turkey this weekend so that I could take pictures for you and everything.
So...turkey takes roughly 20 minutes per pound to cook at 325-350 degrees, depending on your oven.
In a large roasting pan lay down some carrots and celery. You don't need to peel them or anything. We are just making a bed for the bird.
Clean out all the packaged innards of the turkey. There are usually two packages and a neck bone stuffed into either side of the bird. Make sure you get them all out. Wash the bird thoroughly and make sure to remove any left over feather debris or whatever else.
Take some paper towels and pat the skin dry. Make sure the turkey is very dry.
Set the bird breast side up on top of the vegetable bed you made and tuck the wings under the turkey.
Now you will need to gently lift the skin under the breast and move the skin away from the flesh of the turkey. We are going to massage some butter into the breasts to keep them moist and flavorful.
Next you need two sticks of softened butter. Make sure it's really soft. We are going to put one stick under the skin and one stick all over the outside of the bird.
Now for the salt. KOSHER salt. Lots of it.
It'll look like a lot of salt. But we're making a crust, and really....it's a lot of bird! We need to season the turkey. Depending on the size of your turkey it'll be one to two handfuls of kosher salt.
Now for the pepper.
Into the oven it goes. Just like this. Do not cover it. Roast the bird for 20 minutes per pound as instructed on the turkey packaging.
Cook's Note: I usually have 30-40+ people for Thanksgiving. In order to have enough gravy, I buy a couple of turkey wings when I buy the turkey. Boil the neck bone we removed from the bird, the wings, a couple carrots, celery stalks, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and a bunch of flat leaf parsley on the stove while the bird is cooking. We're essentially making turkey stock. I had this to the drippings from the bird, which are usually quite a bit, and I always have enough gravy and au jus this way.
Here is your bird all done.
Ain't it purty? You gotta admit, that's a good lookin' bird! Cover the bird with aluminum foil now to keep it warm while you finish the sides.
Now, onto the stuffing. Well, actually in this case it's dressing, cause I don't actually "stuff" the bird. I don't like the texture of the gooey stuffing inside the bird, so....we cook it on the side.
It will have all the flavor of the "stuffed" kind though because we are going to moisten all those bread crumbs with drippings from the turkey! Oh. yes. we. are!
I use equal parts herb bread and cornbread stuffing mixes. If want to do it from scratch and make your cornbread and toast your herbed bread, more power to you.
In a large saute pan melt one stick of butter over low heat. Chop two large onions and a whole head of celery stalks. Add to melted butter and salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until for tender. Add a cup of milk and a cup of heavy cream.
Pour mixture over the stuffing mixtures in a large bowl and mix really well. Using a ladle add several scoops of turkey drippings to the stuffing until it is moistened completely through. Let cool for a bit and add two eggs.
Press into a large casserole dish. Cook for about 45 minutes once your turkey is out of the oven and resting.
So for the gravy.....the best. part. of. the. whole. meal!
In a large sauce pan, melt a stick of butter. Add a 1/2 cup of flour. Cook until well combined. Drain out all the veggies we put in the bottom of the turkey roaster. Whisk until the gravy thickens. Perfect gravy every single time.
So...if you have questions, please email me. I will definitely try to help you make the best turkey ever for your Thanksgiving feast.
Happy Thursday Smackers!