I know you may be thinking.....who needs a recipe to make a turkey? You put some butter on the top, salt and pepper and stick it in the oven. Well that is what I thought until I actually made a turkey for the first time and wanted some help.
I found this recipe from watching a local cooking show with a top chef in Minneapolis and I have used it ever since. I don't know what it is (maybe the fresh spices vs the powdered) that makes it so tasty but tasty it is!
- 1 - 14 lb Turkey (mine was larger and I used proportionately more spices)
- 1 TB salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 18 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 medium onions, peeled and sliced
- 1 large leek, chopped (white and tender green only)
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 TB peppercorns
- 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks) melted
- 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp chopped fresh chives
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash turkey and reserve giblets. Carefully rinse and dry bird inside and out. Rub all surfaces with salt and butter, including cavity. Place 12 sprigs of thyme in the cavity.
Put onions, leek, carrots, celery, bay leaves, six thyme sprigs, peppercorns and giblets on bottom of large heavy roasting pan. Place bird on top of vegetables. Cover opening of cavity with foil. Pour butter over all surfaces of turkey. Sprinkle on sage, thyme and chives. Cover loosely with tent of aluminum foil. Roast 2 1/2 hours, undisturbed.
Remove foil to let skin brown. Baste every 20 minutes for an hour. The bird should cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Remove from oven. Transfer to platter and cover with foil. Let rest 20-60 minutes before carving.
And here is a bonus! This gravy is a definite must with the turkey!
Shallot Herb Gravy
- 1 1/2 cups defatted turkey stock from pan drippings
- 1 TB fat from pan drippings
- 3 TBS minced shallots
- 3 TBS flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 TB fresh chives, chopped
- 1 TB fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
Strain vegetables and pan drippings into bowl to catch liquids. Discard bay leaves and peppercorns but reserve rest of vegetables for dressing recipe.
Set bowl of strained liquid in to larger bowl of ice water to help separate fat. Skim off fat. Reserve 1 TB of fat to cook shallots, and discard the rest. You should have about 1 1/2 Cups of defatted turkey stock.
In medium saucepan, saute shallots in 1 TB reserved fat. Add flour, mix ell and cook, stirring constantly, 3-4 minutes or until four lightly browns. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups stock and 1 cup broth, stirring frequently. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Add fresh herbs and serve hot. Makes about 3 cups
Enjoy! And have a very blessed and yummy Thanksgiving!