Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Turkey Tips: Part Two

I'll give you a minute to turn your monitor 90 degrees to the left ... and use that time to assure you that I have done everything in my power to right this photo. It appears normally in my pictures file - yet magically (or should I say nefariously?) it flips as soon as its uploaded here. Whatever. Either way you look at it, that's a picture of my beautiful bird from Thanksgiving 2007. It was every bit as good as it looks. So good, in fact, that the pack of vultures I lovingly call my family nearly picked it clean!

I'll do a better job with the turkey photography this year - but my recipe will not change. Here it is:

Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter:
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Place the softened butter in a bowl and to it add the chopped herbs, salt and pepper, stir well to combine. Cover tightly with some plastic wrap and reserve in the fridge. I prepare the butter the day before Thanksgiving and remove it from the fridge early in the morning so it can soften a bit before use.

For the turkey:
  • one batch of herb butter
  • one whole turkey (determine size by using the calculator)
  • Stuffing of your choice, if desired*
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 8 to 10 shallots, peeled and halved
  • Some good quality Vin Santo
  • Some chicken broth
Bring herb butter to room temperature before using. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.

Place your turkey in a large roasting pan and scatter the parsnips, carrots, onions and shallots around the turkey in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle main cavity of turkey with salt and pepper and fill with your desired stuffing, if using. Starting at neck end, carefully slide your hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin. Spread 3 tablespoons of the herb butter over breast meat (under the skin). Then rub 4 tablespoons herb butter over turkey skin on the outside of the breast and drizzle about a 1/2 cup of Vin Santo over the turkey.

Throw the whole shebang into the oven and roast for the necessary amount of time - as determined by the turkey calculator and your trusty instant read thermometer. Keep an eye on your bird, and when the breast has browned to your satisfaction, cover it with foil. About half-way through your roasting time, add some chicken broth to the bottom of the roasting pan - about a cup or so and continue roasting until the turkey is done.

Once it has cooked, remove it from the oven, tent the whole thing with foil and allow the bird to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. You can use this time to make the gravy ... which we will discuss tomorrow! By the time the turkey has cooked, all of those delicious aromatic veggies will have caramelized and they will lend outstanding flavor to your gravy ... so don't throw them away.

*We'll get to the stuffing later in the week as well. Stuffing is a sensitive subject. Bread? Meat? Both? Neither? Its enough to make your head spin - and far too complicated to begin discussing now. We'll cover the topic on Friday. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, what size bird will you be roasting this year? Hungry Diva wants to know!

Bon appetite!


HektikLyfe said...

What are you doing to me!?! Its 9:50 and you're already making me hungry! Garrr.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Tee hee he, Hektik, that's the point! I'd tell you that I'd set a place for you ... but that's a long way to fly for an upside-down turkey! ;)

Anonymous said...

I think the turkey looks pretty this way!

HektikLyfe said...

Hey! I used your turkey in a blog. I hope you don't mind. I will pull it immediately if you do.

The Diva on a Diet said...

I don't mind in the least, Hektik, in fact I'm delighted. Thanks! Off to check it out. :)

Anonymous - I think it looks a bit like a stealth bomber, myself! LOL

Michele said...

I'm only doing a turkey breast this year...and not roasting it. I'll be doing it in the slow cooker. I made it this way last year and now Phil won't let me make turkey any other way.
Your roasted turkey looks divine! Even if it did hurt my neck to liik at it! :-)

Michele said...

that should have been look...not liik...dang, I need more coffee this morning!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Mmm, love turkey in the slow-cooker, Michele! I figured that you're crazed with work these days and I've been thinking about you. Hope its going well! xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I devoured every word of your post, now I have to lick the saliva marks off the screen. Loved the bit about the turnip, will try for sure. I have used a herbal glaze on fowl before, superb.

My first visit, but I have added you as a link on Nether Region II


The Diva on a Diet said...

Why thank you, Argentum! I appreciate that and have added both Nether and Tomus to my roll. Looking forward to reading up on your blogs and drop by any time! :)

Jeanie said...

How is it possible that I didn't know you used a butter on your bird?? Thanks for the tip! (Since I'm on my own this year. ~fear~)

The Diva on a Diet said...

Jeanie - no one knows. LOL! You're going to be fine and your bird will be delicious, I promise. That link to the turkey calculator on the other post is invaluable and the USDA page is pretty useful too. Have no fear - all will be well!