Roast Turkey for this Christmas by Mishi Bhatnagar
With the festive season just around the corner, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to dive into the world of gourmet cooking than with the delicious, scrumptious, knock-me-off-my-feet traditional style turkey. Christmas time just isn’t complete without it. Now the recipe may be a little long but trust me it is well worth the effort. So here goes..
- 1 turkey
- lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- butter or olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- Tops and bottoms of celery
- 2 carrots
- Sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme
- Bring the turkey to room temperature before cooking kept in its plastic wrapping until ready for cooking. Remove the neck, heart, gizzard, liver etc. (You can get your local butcher to do this).They can be used for making stock for the stuffing.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash the turkey with water and pat dry with paper towels. Lather the inside cavity with the lemon juice and then rub it with a small hand full of salt to get the flavor in.
- Put the onion, parsley, and the celery inside the turkey to add flavor. Then cap the body cavity with some aluminum foil so that the stuffing doesn’t fall out. Seal the cavity with either kitchen string or metal skewers. Make sure that the turkey’s legs are tied together as well as the wings and are held close to the body.
You can stuff the neck cavity with parsley but make sure to tie it closed with skewers and string.
- Rub either melted butter or olive oil all over the outside of the turkey and sprinkle salt and pepper (soaking the turkey in salt water brine before-hand will also do).
- Place turkey BREAST DOWN on the bottom of a rack over a roasting pan. Add several sprigs of thyme and rosemary to the outside of the bird.
- Put the turkey in the oven. I recommend cooking time of about 15 minutes for every pound. For example- for a 15 lb turkey, start the cooking at 400°F/204°C for the first 1/2 hour. Then reduce the heat to 350°F/177°C F for the next 2 hours. Then reduce the heat further to 225°F/107°C for the next hour to hour and a half.
To get the breast brown as well, turn the bird over so that the breast is on top, and put it in a 500°F/260°C oven for 4-5 minutes. However, in doing this, you are running the risk of overcooking the breast.
Spear the breast with a knife. Ideally the turkey juices should be clear, not pink, if properly cooked. You can also use a meat thermometer to check whether it is done or not.
- Once you remove the turkey from the oven, let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Turn the turkey breast side up to carve it.
Making Turkey Gravy
Scrape all the turkey drippings off of the bottom of the roasting pan and pour into a pan. Remove excess fat with a gravy spoon. In a separate small bowl take a quarter cup of cornflour and add water to dissolve it. Make sure you remove all the lumps. Add the cornstarch mixture to the drippings, stirring constantly till you get the required thickness. Add salt, pepper, sage, thyme, or other seasonings to taste.
All I can say is that when I tried it, it tasted simply OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD!!
For more of Mishi’s recipe picks visit her blog at www.cooking-gourmet.com