Thursday, January 15, 2009

Citrus Turkey with Cognac Gravy

22 lb. Fresh Turkey
1 stick of unsalted butter1 tbsp.
fresh chopped thyme
1 tbsp. fresh chopped sage
1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 tbsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. orange zest
Salt and pepper

About a week before Thanksgiving I venture out for my initial grocery shopping, included in this list are fresh herbs that will truly make the holiday special. With the herbs I make a citrus herb butter and freeze until the night before the big day. Place butter under the breast skin and this concoction helps keep the meat moist and ensures really good flavor. This recipe was inspired by some of my favorite chef's/TV cooking personalities including Ina, Giada, Martha, Emeril, Bobby Flay and Mario.

Herb Citrus Butter:
Combine with a fork herbs, lemon and orange zest a dash of salt and pepper and room temp. unsalted butter. Place mixture on saran wrap and create a log shape. Freeze and thaw in fridge at least 12 hours prior to use.

Prep the Turkey:
Acquire fresh turkey at least 48 hours prior to event.24- hours before event: Wash cavity thoroughly and ensure giblets and company are removed from the back end of the bird. Place bird in kosher salt and very cold water solution for about 15 minutes. I think the kosher salt draws out any yucky stuff.

Morning of :
1.) Take the bird out of the fridge and bring to room temp. This is a very important step and will ensure cooking time stays on target.
2.) Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
3.) Place bird in large roasting pan. Generously season the bird including the inner cavity with salt and pepper.
4.) Gently run hand between the breast and skin and add herb butter. Slather the bird with remaining butter mixture.
5.) Stuff both cavities with dressing of your choice (see below stuffing recipe). Be sure to stuff right before cooking as stuffing sitting in a bird could create a cease pool of bacteria. To be safe, omit the stuffing and place cut lemons, oranges, herbs, onion to the cavities.
6.) Place seasoned, stuffed turkey uncovered in 425 degree oven for 45 minutes.
7.) Turn over temp. down to 350 degree. Cover and cook for about 4 1/2 hour or until internal temp of the thicket part of the turkey and stuffing reach 165 degrees.
8.) Let the bird rest uncovered for at least a half-hour until carving.

Cognac Gravy

Gravy is awesome. End of story. I do however take a little different approach in making gravy.

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons butter
4 cups of turkey stock or good chicken stock
1 cup of turkey drippings
Shot of Cognac
1.) Melt butter over low heat and which flour creating a roux cook for 1-2 minutes.
2.) Slowly add stock and bring to slow boil.
3.) Add cognac season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
4.) Prior to serving add turkey drippings.

1 comment:

Marie said...

Hi Kanella,

This sounds awesome. I'm committed to a particular recipe for this year, but I'm going to save your recipe and try it later on in the fall/winter. Happy Thanksgiving.

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