Monday, February 8, 2010

Herbed Roast Turkey

I am well aware that Thanksgiving was 3 months ago, but I just made this turkey last night and it was amazing. If we ever host Thanksgiving at our house, we will definitely be using this recipe. We brined the turkey over night and then let it air dry in the fridge for hours and then rubbed this amazing herb paste all over and under and in, and then roasted it in the oven. It was SO moist and flavorful with a crisp crust and it really was amazing. Jeremy swears this is the best turkey he's ever tasted, but he's been known to exaggerate, so who knows. :) Either way, it really was delicious. We felt so guilty that we didn't invite anyone over to enjoy it with us, but now we have a lot leftover! Put this one in your file and try it out next Thanksgiving or be crazy like us and try it now! You won't be disappointed.
Look at my post below to see some fabulous rolls to go along with this turkey.
Herbed Roast Turkey
Turkey and Brine

2 cups table salt
1 turkey, 12-14 pounds, rinsed thoroughly; giblets and neck reserved for making gravy and tailpiece removed
Herb Paste
1 1/4 cups chopped parsley (roughly chopped)
4 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage leaves (roughly chopped)
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 T.)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
3/4 tsp. grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
3/4 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil

FOR THE TURKEY AND THE BRINE: Dissolve 2 cups salt in 2 gallons cold water in large stockpot or bucket (I used a 20 qt. stockpot). Add turkey and refrigerate 4-6 hours. Remove turkey from brine and rinse under cool running water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Place turkey breast side up on flat wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, 30 minutes. Alternatively, air-dry turkey:
place the turkey breast side up on a flat wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, 8 to 24 hours.FOR THE HERB PASTE: Process parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, shallot, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in food processor until consistency of coarse paste. Add mustard and olive oil; continue to process until mixture forms smooth paste; scrape sides of processor bowl in between pulses. Transfer mixture to small bowl.
TO PREPARE THE TURKEY: Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 400 degrees. Line large V-rack with heavy-duty foil and use paring knife or skewer to poke 20 to 30 holes in foil; set V-rack in large roasting pan. Remove turkey from refrigerator and wipe away any water collected in baking sheet; set turkey breast side up on baking sheet. Tuck wings behind back and tuck tips of drumsticks into skin at tail to secure.
Using hands, carefully loosen skin from meat of breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. Using spoon, slip 1 1/2 tablespoons paste under breast skin on each side of turkey. Using fingers, distribute paste under skin over breast, thigh, and drumstick meat.
Using sharp paring knife, cut 1 1/2-inch vertical slit into thickest part of each breast. Starting from top of incision, swing knife tip down to create 4- to 5-inch pocket within flesh. Place 1 tablespoon paste in pocket of each breast; using fingers, rub in thin, even layer.
Rub 1 tablespoon paste inside turkey cavity. Rotate turkey breast side down; apply half remaining herb paste to turkey skin; flip turkey breast side up and apply remaining herb paste to skin, pressing and patting to make paste adhere; reapply herb paste that falls onto baking sheet.
TO ROAST THE TURKEY: Place turkey breast side down on prepared V-rack in roasting pan. Roast 45 minutes.
Remove roasting pan with turkey from oven (close oven door to retain oven heat). Using clean potholders (or wad of paper towels), rotate turkey breast side up. Continue to roast until thickest part of breast registers 165 degrees and thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 50 to 60 minutes longer. (Confirm temperature by inserting thermometer in both sides of bird.) Transfer turkey to carving board; let rest 30 minutes. Carve turkey and serve.
If roasting a 14- to 18-pound bird: increase all of the ingredients for the herb paste (except the black pepper) by 50 percent; follow the instructions for applying the paste under the skin, in the breast pockets, and in the cavity; use the remaining paste on the skin. Increase the second half of the roasting time (breast side up) to 1 hour, 15 minutes.
If roasting an 18- to 22-pound bird: double all of the ingredients for the herb paste except the black pepper; apply 2 tablespoons paste under the skin on each side of the turkey, 1 1/2 tablespoons paste in each breast pocket, 2 tablespoons inside the cavity, and the remaining paste on the turkey skin. Roast breast side down at 425 degrees for 1 hour, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, rotate the turkey breast side up, and continue to roast for about 2 hours. Let rest 35 to 40 minutes before carving.
Source: America's Test Kitchen TV

1 comment:

Joyful Noise said...

Now I need to go and find a turkey for this week... hmmm....