Monday, January 02, 2006

High Roast Turkey

We were at Sea World San Diego on Thanksgiving but the 22lb turkey was defrosting in the fridge and it was defrosted, ready for brining for our early Christmas. I have made this recipe from Cooks Illustratred since it was published on their november and december 2001 magazine. The wonderful part is that this recipe takes half the time needed and tasted twice better. The recipe calls for a 12 - 14 lb turkey, but mine was 22 lbs, so the baking time has to be a bit longer.

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2 cups kosher salt or 1 cup table salt
1 cup sugar
1 turkety(12 - 14 lbs gross weight), rinced thoroughly, giblets, neck and tailpiece removed and reserved for gravy(recipe follows) and turkey butterflied.
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted.

Sausage Dressing

12 cups cornbread broken into 1 inch pieces(include crumbs) or
18 cups 1 inch challah or italian bread cubes(from about 1 1/2 loaves)
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 cup half and half
2 large eggs, beaten slightly
12 onces bulk pork sausage, broken into 1 inch pieces
3 medium onions, chopped fine(about 3 cups)3 celery ribs, chopped fine(about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp minced fresh sage leaves
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper


To brine the turkey:

Dissolve salt and sugar in 2 gallons cold water in large stockpot or clean bucket. Add turkey and refrigerate or set in very cool spot(not more than 40 degrees)(i left mine in the garage as it was freezing during that week) for 8 hours.

For the dressing:

While turkey brines, adjust one oven rack to upper-middle position and second rack to lover-middle position and heat oven to 250 f. Spread bread in even layers on 2 rimmed baking sheets and dry in oven 40 - 50 minutes for challah or italian bread or 50 - 60 minutes for cornbread.

Place bread in large bowl. Whisk together stock, half and half and eggs in bowl, pour over bread and toss gently to coat so bread does not break into smaller pieces. Set aside.

Heat heavy-bottomed, 12 inch skillet over medium high heat until hot, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until sausage loses its raw color, 5 - 7 minutes.

With slotted spoon, transfer sausage to medium bowl. Add about half of onions and celery to fat in skillet, saute, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Transfer onion mixture to bowl with sausage.

Return skillet to heat and add 2 tbsp butter, when foam subsides, add remaining celery and onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Add in thyme, sage, and garlic, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, add salt and pepper.

Add this mixture along with sausage and onion mixture to bread and stir gently to combine, trying not to break bread into smaller pieces.

Spray disposable aluminum 12 by 16 inch roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Transfere dressing to roasting pan and spread in even layer.

Cover pan with foil and refrigerate until needed.

To prepare turkey for roasting:

Set slotted broiler pan top on top of roasting pan with foil-covered dressing and spray with non-stick cooking spray, set roasting pan on baking sheet to support bottom.

Remove turkey from brine and rinse well under cool running water.

Butterfly the turkey, tie the legs together and position on broiler pan top, thoroughly pat surface or turkey dry with paper towels.

Refrigerate turkey and dressing, uncovered, 8 - 24 hours.

To roast turkey with dressing

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 f.

Remove broiler pan top with turkey and foil cover over roasting pan, replace broiler pan top with turkey.

Brush turkey with melted butter.

Place entire assembly with turkey in oven and roast until turkey skin is crisp and deep brown and instant-read-thermometer reads 165 f when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 f in the thickest part of thigh, 80 to 100 minutes, rotating pan from front to back after 40 mintues.

Transfer broiler pan top with turkey to cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 20 munutes.

Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, place roasting pan with dressing back in oven, and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Cool dressing 5 minutes, then spoon into bowl or onto turkey serving platter.

Carve turkey and serve.

Turkey Gravy

To roast the trimmings and vegetables, it's best to use a roasting pan that can sit on the stove top. If you do not own one, a broiler pan bottom will work, when setting it on the stovetop, however, use medium heat instead of high heat and add only half the amount of chicken broth before scraping up the drippings, add the other half of the chicken broth to the saucepan along with the wine.

Reserved turkey giblets, neck and backbone, hacked into 2 inch pieces
1 medium carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 celery rib, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 small onions, chopped coarse
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups dry white wine
6 spigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup all purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper

Heat oven to 450f.

Place turkey trimmings, carrot, celery, onions, and garlic in large flameproof roasting pan.

Spray lightly with cooking spray and toss to combine.

Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until well-browned, 40 to 50 minutes.

Remove roasting pan from oven, and place over burner(s) set at high heat, add chicken stock and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan with wooden spoon.

Transfer contents of roasting pan to large saucepan. Add wine, 3 cups water and thyme, bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 1/2 hours.

Strain stock into large measuring cup or container. Cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until fat congeals, at least 1 hour.

To finish gravy, skim fat from stock using soup spoon, reserve fat. Pour stock through fine-mesh strainer to remove remaining bits of fat, discard bit in strainer.

Bring stock to simmer in medium saucepan over medium high heat.

In second medium saucepan, heat 4 tbsp reserved turkey fat over medium high heat until bubbling, whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until combined and honey-colored, about 2 minutes. Continuing to whisk constantly, gradually add hot stock, bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with turkey.

(Can be refrigerated up to 3 days, reheat in medium saucepan over medium heat until hot, about 8 minutes).


Anonymous said...

Sorry if this is a silly question, as I don't quite understand. Do you bake the dressing underneath the turkey? Is the dressing baked covered or uncovered. Thank you.

Unknown said...


yes the dressing is in the roasting pan with the foil removed so that it catches the drippings and prevent smoking up the whole house.

Unknown said...

I'm in Msia. Can sausage mince be replaced by the regular minced pork? If yes, does the minced pork have to contain a high % of fat or can it be completely fat free? Can the Challah bread be replaced by regular white bread or maybe french stick?

Unknown said...

shuk yee

yes, you can use ground pork instead of bulk sausage. Lean is good.

For the bread, use the ones that are more hardy and not the soft white roti you make roti kiap.

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