Hi everyone, Thanksgiving is fast upon us. I want to share with you my favorite way to roast a turkey. I always get tons of phone calls from friends and former students trying to remember my way of turkey roasting. It produces incredibly delicious, rich tasting, moist meat.
I am a great traditionalist, especially when it comes to holiday cooking. Many years ago, I was trained on the English roasting method. And, I fell in love with the results. The turkey is so bronze and beautiful. The skin is almost parchment thin, due to the slow roasting, the fat has almost completely melted away from the under layer.
It is a bit of a process. Prior to placing the stuffing in the bird, can even be Tuesday evening; rub a scant 1 Tablespoon of kosher or sea salt--can even use a salt substitute--into the inside cavities of the thawed or fresh bird. Be sure to rub it thoroughly into the underside of the breast as well as the thoracic or neck cavity. Never salt the skin as it causes it to dry out, burst and release brining the turkey's natural juices. (This is one reason I like this method better than brining.) You get the flavoring without the drying out of the skin.
The night before or tonight (Wednesday night) prepare the stuffing. Pull out and render down the turkey fat from inside the cavities. Place the turkey in the roaster, breast up and bring to room temperature. Stuff the turkey both in the body and neck cavities. Then either brush on the rendered turkey fat or melt unsalted butter and brush on the outside skin. (Don't even attempt to rub on the back.) While the fat is still warm, scatter finely minced herbs--fresh sage, thyme, rosemary or whatever you have. Dry herbs can work.
Preheat the oven to 425F. Place the turkey in the oven just before you go to bed for 20 minutes for the first 15 pounds and a minute per pound for each additional pound. After the timer goes off, reduce the temperature to 200 F. Open the oven and quickly dash some sherry or kirschwasser over the top of the bird--about 1/4 cup for a smaller bird and more if larger.
When you awaken to the fabulous aroma of the turkey, start basting every 30 minutes. You will be amazed at the bird's beauty and flavor. Pull out of the oven at least 30 minutes before serving to make the gravy and to carve the bird.
Try adding a Tablespoon or more pure red ground chile to the gravy for extra color and flavor.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and let me know how you like this method. Some get nervous about the stuffing and the low temperature of roasting--it has worked for over 30 years for me. Do be sure all of the ingredients in the stuffing are cooked.
Talk to you soon. In the meantime, check out the cooking club--it is about ready for the sneak peek. Join us soon for a fun cooking class and be sure to join our club and give it as a gift. Just go to www.janebutel.com and click on cooking school and cooking club. Join our bytes too! Jane Butel