Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oven Roasted Turkey with Compound Butter

Turkey.  One of the most feared birds to cook.  Let me tell you a little secret.  It may look very intimidating, but it's like a chicken... but bigger.  The secret weapon... a good planning ahead and no fuss happy roasting!


- For the Turkey:
1 (12 to 15-pound) whole fresh turkey, rinsed well and patted dry
3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, quartered
1 garlic head, halved lengthwise
a bunch of thyme, rosemary and sage sprigs
1 green apple, cut in half
1 or 2 turkey necks
2 cups homemade chicken stock, divided, plus more if needed for gravy
Salt and fresh ground pepper

- For the Compound Butter:

1 1/4 stick unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Note:  If you buy a frozen turkey, make sure to defrost it before cooking.  Plan on having the bird in your fridge for 3 to 4 days ahead.  This is the easiest and safest way to defrost your turkey. 

The night before roasting your turkey:  It's time to do some prep work, so the next day you can just put your roasting pan in the oven and baste your turkey every 20 to 30 minutes. Plan wisely on your roasting timing. Depending on the size, your turkey can be done within 2:45 to 3:30 hours.  Also, do not forget the resting time of the roasted turkey before carving (30 minutes).  So, if you are eating lunch at 2, you should be getting ready to cook around 10:45 to 11:00 am.

So, this is what you need to do the night before:

Get your turkey out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.   Rinse it and pat it dry.  Make sure you have removed the giblets and neck.  Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity of the turkey with the apple, one onion and herbs. Truss the bird for a better look and set aside.

Get your roasting pan (preferably a v-neck roasting pan) and add the chopped vegetables, herbs, garlic  and set aside.
Combine the butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.  With the help of your fingers, dis-attach the breast skin and rub a generous amount of the compound butter.  Then, rub the rest of the bird.  Make sure you are very thorough.  Sprinkle the turkey with some sea salt and pepper.  Finally, set the turkey on top of the pan.  Cover with aluminum foil and put back in the fridge until the morning.

The next morning/afternoon: (depending when if you are eating lunch or dinner)

Bring your turkey out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.  In the mean time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Put 2 cups of the chicken stock in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat. Pour over the turkey pan, making sure not to touch the turkey.

Put in the oven, and roast until lightly golden brown, 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue roasting, basting with the warm pan juices every 20 to 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 2 to 2 1/4 hours longer (This will depend on your bird size, so make sure to start checking the temperature after the 2 hours mark, so you don't overcook your turkey.) Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer to baking sheet and tent loosely with foil, and let it rest 30 minutes before carving.



fresh turkey said...

Looks delicious! Shame we cant smell it over the computer screen

Pilarh said...

Nosotros lo hicimos varios años muy parecido, este año me rebele y haremos asado.. nunca me ha gustado el pavo.