Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Roast Turkey

Here is a quick post for a roast turkey from Martha Stewart Living.  This is my second time using this recipe, and both times the turkey turns a dark golden color and is very juicy.

Ingredients for Martha Stewart Living's Roast Turkey:
-One 20-21 pound fresh turkey, giblets and neck removed from cavity and reserve (a slightly smaller turkey is fine, it will just cook faster)
-1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), melted, plus more for rubbing the turkey
-1 bottle dry white wine
-2 teaspoons salt
-2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

Rinse the turkey with cool water and dry with paper towels.  Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature.

Warm the butter and white wine together and soak a large piece of cheese cloth in it.  Meanwhile, rub the bird with butter and season with salt and pepper.
Place rack on the lowest level in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.

Place the bird breast-side up on a roasting rack in the roasting pan.  A roasting rack will prevent the bird from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Remove the pop-up thermometer if there is one.  Use an instant read thermometer for a more accurate indicator of doneness.

Insert the stuffing just before the turkey goes into the oven, and do not pack too tightly.  I place the stuffing into a cheesecloth bag, before going into the bird, so it is easy to remove.  Do not forget to pack the neck cavity.  Secure the neck flap by pulling the flap of skin at the neck down and use toothpicks to fasten it.
Pull the legs together loosely and tie them with kitchen string.  A bow will easily untie later.

Cover the turkey with cheesecloth that has been soaking in the butter and wine.  It should cover the breast and part of the leg areas.  Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, then take out and brush the cheesecloth and the exposed turkey parts with the butter and wine mixture.  Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F.  Beware that the cheesecloth might burn if it is drooping too much off the bird.  My smoke detectors were going crazy.
Every 30 minutes, use a pastry brush to baste the cheesecloth and exposed turkey parts with butter and wine mixture.  Watch the pan juices, if your pan is shallow.  Spoon them out if they are overflowing and reserve for gravy.

After the second hour of cooking, carefully remove and discard cheesecloth.  I brush the butter and wine mixture on spots that are sticking to the bird, to prevent the skin from tearing.  The turkey will be quite brown.  If the legs and wings are getting too brown, wrap them in foil to slow down the browning.  Brush the turkey with the pan juices and return to the oven.

After another 30 minutes of cooking, insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, avoiding the bone.  When the temperature reaches 165 degrees F, the bird is ready.  This will take an hour or two more (start taking temperature after 2 1/2 hours cooking time total).

Transfer the turkey to a serving platter, remove stuffing, and let rest for 30 minutes.  You can tent with foil to keep the heat in.  Meanwhile, make your gravy.  Then carve and serve.
Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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