I hope that all of you had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!! Below was the abundant spread we had that was basically all cooked by the younger generation of the two families that came together for our Thanksgiving meal. How amazing is that? My younger sister made a pumpkin pie from scratch (not pictured here, but tasted amazing!) My older sister made the mashed potatoes. I helped out with two different kids of stuffing (regular and gluten-free!). Our cousin made sweet potatoes and toasted marshmallows! Of course, the centerpiece was the turkey - and the pressure was on for me this year.
Last year, I did a smoked turkey that took a lot of prep work and time, but was worth it in terms of flavor. This year, I wanted to go for a simpler method that kept the turkey meat incredibly moist. I learned an interesting technique from British Youtube stars SORTED food - where they roasted the turkey UPSIDE DOWN. I know, it's crazy!!
Using my mom's classic brine technique, I went for a similar method to SORTED with my turkey - and it worked brilliantly! The turkey meat was incredibly moist and juicy, and stayed warm even after over an hour of resting - which helped make it even more tender and delicious! Using a citrus and rosemary flavoring, this turkey is subtle in flavor but delicious and moist enough to grace any Thanksgiving - or Christmas - table!
This recipe also comes with a gravy made from the roasting pan trivet (vegetable cooked underneath)- simple, but incredibly delicious!
Recipe is good for a 10-11 pound turkey.
1 10-11 pound turkey, neck and giblets removed if present
9-10 quarts water for the brine
4 oranges, halved
2 limes, halved
2 lemons, halved
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup cracked black peppercorns
4 tbsp cracked sea salt
2 tbsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
6 bay leaves
1 leek, roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
1 small white onion, peeled
1 parsnip, roughly chopped
8 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 cup lemonade
2 tbsp clarified butter
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups water for the gravy
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp butter
4 cups turkey stock (or chicken stock)
1. Pour the water into a brining container. Stir in 3 tbsp salt, all of the cracked black peppercorns, the bay leaves, and the rosemary. Squeeze in the juice of all of the citrus halves and add them in as well. Stir well to combine. Place in the turkey, and brine in the fridge overnight.
2. Preheat your oven to 355 degrees Fahrenheit (on convection bake if your oven supports that setting). In a roasting pan, toss together the leeks, carrots, onion, and celery with olive oil and some salt and pepper.
3. Remove the turkey from the brine and place it on top of the vegetables. Season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper before placing in some of the citrus halves (at least one orange and one lemon), the small onion, and some of the rosemary/bay leaves from the brine.
4. Place on top of the vegetables on the roasting tray, then pour the water and white wine into the roasting pan. Cover the turkey with tinfoil and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes (roughly 10-15 minutes per pound)
5. When the first portion of cooking is about done, melt 2 tbsp of clarified butter in the microwave and stir in warmed lemonade (to keep the butter from resolidfying).
6. Take the turkey out of the oven, remove the tinfoil, and up the temperature to 435 degrees F. Brush the turkey with the lemonade/butter mixture, then place back in the oven. Baste again every 10 minutes for another 20-30 minutes, until the thickest part of the breast reads 170 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
7. Remove the turkey from the roasting pan, cover with tinfoil, and let rest until ready to carve. Chop up the onion from inside the turkey, and place it and the squeezed citrus juice back into the roasting pan. Place your roasting pan on the stove on a high heat, bringing the liquid up to a boil.
8. Mash all of the vegetables up as much as possible, letting the liquid reduce by half. Add in the clarified butter, fresh thyme, and turkey stock, then bring back up to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes before straining into a pot and leaving to heat on low until ready to serve!
The turkey may not have the darkest skin, but it is beautifully cooked and moist on the inside. The gravy has a complexity of flavor from all of the roasted vegetables and layers of herbs that are added throughout the cooking process, making it the perfect complement to the most amazing, moist turkey!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! =)