There are few meals served on this continent as scrumptiously pleasing as a great turkey dinner with all the fixins', especially at a big family and friends gathering. Buttery mashed potatoes, steamed and butter tossed broccoli, . . . ummmm!
We prepared this turkey last weekend and it was superior to any turkey and gravy we have ever sampled. Absolutely delicious, and this succulent, juicy turkey will have jaws dropping and stomachs rumbling at any feast.
1 turkey (about 12 lbs/5-6 kg)
1 cup (250 mL) parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh rosemary, chopped, plus 3 sprigs
2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh thyme leaves, chopped
8 cloves (3 tablespoons/45 mL) garlic, finely chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup/125 mL) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon (5 mL) kosher salt, plus additional
½ teaspoon (2 mL) pepper, plus additional
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
4 cups (1 L) apple cider
4 Vidalia onions, sliced 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick; reserve for gravy
cotton kitchen twine
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees C) with rack in lowest position.
2. In a small bowl, combine parsley, 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) chopped rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, butter, 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) salt, and 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 millilitres) pepper. Using your fingers, carefully loosen skin of breast and around thighs and rub herb mixture under skin of both.
3. Season cavity with salt and pepper and loosely fill with lemon slices, orange slices and rosemary sprigs. Using cotton kitchen twine, tie legs together. Season outside of turkey with salt and pepper.
4. Arrange onion slices into bottom of pan and place turkey, breast side up, on top of onions. Pour cider into pan until liquid just covers onions. Tent turkey loosely with foil and roast for 1 hour.
5. Uncover and continue to roast, basting frequently with pan juices, until an instant read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170 degrees F (80 degrees C), 2 1/2 to 3 hours more. [Tips: Tent with foil if browning too quickly. Add water if pan becomes dry.]
6. Reserve onions for Quick Turkey Gravy (recipe from this special).
7. Cover loosely with foil, and rest 30 minutes before carving.
Roasted Vidalia Onion Turkey Gravy
1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
4 turkey wings
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig rosemary
5 cups (1.25 L) chicken broth, divided
2 carrots cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 leaf bay
4 reserved Vidalia onions
2 tablespoons (30 mL) unsalted butter, cold
salt and pepper
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add wings and onions and cook, flipping wings and stirring onions occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and rosemary sprigs. Add 1 ½ (350 millilitres) cups stock to skillet and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a small stock pot.
2. Stir in remaining broth, carrot, celery and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour, skimming occasionally.
3. While broth is simmering, puree reserved onions and about ½ cup (125 millilitres) pan juices from turkey in blender or food processor. Transfer to a large saucepan.
4. Remove and discard wings. Strain broth through a large strainer into saucepan with onions. Press on vegetables in strainer to extract any remaining liquid. Discard strained vegetables. Bring strained broth and onions to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper.
6. Yield: 4 cups/1 litre).
7. Note: As an option, you can roast off the chicken wings till they are golden and caramelized, then add to the stock. Extra caramelizing equals extra flavor.