Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey!

This year I cooked my family's Thanksgiving meal. Last year I saw it had gotten too much for my Mom. So. This year I told her that I'm taking the turkey baster off of her and Thanksgiving dinner was now mine! It wasn't the first time I cooked a turkey but it was the first time I did the whole meal.

Even though Thanksgiving is now over, I am going to take the next few days to post all of the recipes I used. Any of the items would be great for your Christmas or Holiday meals or you could tuck them away for use next year.

Before I post the first recipe, let me say that I prepped everything the day before. Yes, everything...even the mashed potatoes! Doing this enabled me to have a stress free, relaxing Thanksgiving. I'll share more about how I prepped ahead with each recipe that I post. It really worked out beautifully. Even though I cooked for 12 people, I had time to sit in the kitchen with my Mom while the turkey was cooking and visit.

The first recipe I am going to share is for the turkey. As I have said, I have cooked turkeys before but this year I wanted to try something new. Yes, trying something new on the day of Thanksgiving is taking somewhat of a chance but I threw caution to the wind and went for it. If it didn't work, we had a lot of side dishes we could fill up on!

So. A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving I saw in the Parade Magazine (that comes in the Sunday's paper) the article "The Best Chefs Create Your Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner." Bobby Flay did the turkey and after reading over it, I decided this was the recipe I was going to use. Even though his cooking usually is more elaborate and has a wonderful flair to it, his recipe for turkey seemed more traditional and perfect for me. The main thing I liked about it, was that he said you could cook a 17 pound turkey in 2 hours plus 20-40 minutes resting time after you take it out of the oven. Seriously friends, it worked and was the most tastiest, juiciest turkey I have EVER put in my mouth! Since I live about an hour away from my parents' and I was cooking there, I didn't want to drag Allison out of bed at 5 in the morning to get there to put the turkey in the oven so we could eat around 12:30. I will never cook a turkey the long way ever again!

Here is his recipe with my adjustments in red. (I know, I know...I couldn't help myself...I had to do things a little different but you'll see they weren't in the cooking. I followed his instructions exactly.

Turkey by Bobby Flay


1 whole fresh turkey (17 lbs.), rinsed and patted dry (I used 16 lbs.)

1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened (I used salted)

2 Tbsp each finely chopped fresh sage, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme leaves, and fresh flat-leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 large celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large onions, quartered

8 cups warm homemade chicken stock


1. Remove turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.

2. Mix butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley in a food processor until smooth; season with salt and pepper. (I didn't use the food processor. I let the butter come to room temperature and finely chopped the sage, rosemary, thyme and parsley by hand. Then I mixed them together in a small bowl with the back of a spoon.)

3. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper and fill with half the carrots, celery, and onions. Rub entire turkey with herb butter and season liberally with salt and pepper. (I also lifted the skin and rubbed the mixture directly on the meat under the skin.)

4. Put 4 cups of the chicken stock in a medium-size saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

5. Place remaining vegetables and stock on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place turkey on top of the vegetables, put in the oven, and roast for 45 minutes or until lightly golden brown. (I covered the turkey for this part of the cooking) Reduce heat to 350ºF and continue to roast (I did this part uncovered), basting with warm chicken stock every 15 minutes, about 1 1/4 hours longer. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh should register 160ºF.) Remove turkey from the oven, transfer to a baking sheet, and tent loosely with foil (I left the turkey in the pan and tightly covered it with foil and then put a double folded bath towel on top of the foil). Let rest 20 minutes before slicing (I let it rest for 40 minutes and it was still hot).

Per 4-oz. serving: 240 calories, no carbs, 32g protein, 95mg cholesterol, and 11g fat.

Bobby Flay's Turkey Tips

Fresh vs. Frozen
Both are good, but frozen turkeys have to be defrosted, which can take several days and occupy valuable room in your refrigerator.

Fresh Herbs vs. Dried
Dried herbs can be substituted for fresh herbs at a ratio of 1 to 3. But fresh herbs have purer flavors that stand out on Thanksgiving Day.

It’s imperative to let the turkey rest before slicing so the juices recirculate. Wait at least 20 minutes for a small bird, 40 minutes for a larger one.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails