roasted turkey

making a turkey always seemed like an impossible mission for me. its not like making chicken, the turkey is much more complex and takes more attention and skill. to actually make it juicy and delicious, sounded like something that only the pros can do. last year i decided that it was time to take the plunge and prepare a turkey! i have researched recipes for days and combined them into a one “perfect” recipe, i read articles and even watched videos online. i was influenced by roasted chicken recipes, and felt that glazing the turkey with honey will be a nice touch, giving it some sweetness. citrus, will add juices and flavor and of course herbs and spices. i combined spices like thyme and rosemary, with butter, honey, lemon and orange zest together and massaged the turkey with them, inside out. i also rubbed the glaze under the skin, the same way i do with chicken. for that, you need to start at the neck and loosen the skin by sliding your fingers underneath, being careful not to tear it. be generous with the glaze, the more the better. once i was done with that, i had put the lemons and oranges i was left with, inside the body cavity, as i mentioned before, for the extra juices. on thanksgiving day i was very nervous and prepared the turkey according to plan. unfortunately, it came out bit undercooked and i had to bring it back to the oven which made it a bit dry. do not get me wrong, it was still great and everyone liked it, the problem was not in the recipe it was me, i needed to be more patient. learning from last year’s mistake i was ready to face the challenge again this year, and this time it came out just right. juicy, perfectly cooked and delicious. i do not have pictures to prove it, due to the lack of time with guests and cooking, so you will have to take my word for it. happy thanksgiving!

3 tbs fresh rosemary leaves chopped
2 tbs lemon zest
2 tbs orange zest

1/4 cup salt
3 tbs thyme

3 tbs cumin
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 stick of butter room temperature

turkey stock:
2 small onions peeled
1 carrot cut in half
1 celery stalk cut in half

1 quart chicken stock

roasted turkey:
8 springs of fresh rosemary
2 lemons halves

1 orange halves
2 large carrots
4 celery stalks
2 cups of chicken stock
reserve turkey fat from the tail area

1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup all purpose flower
2 cups of turkey stock
salt and pepper
in food processor, process all ingrediants till blended well. set aside.

preheat oven to 425 Fº.

turkey stock:
remove neck and giblets from turkey, wash and put into a pot. add onions, carrot, celery and chicken stock. bring to boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. strain and reserve for gravy.

roasted turkey:
wash the turkey and dry well. coat the turkey with the glaze inside out, starting with the neck. do not forget to put under skin as well, as explained in the post.
put rosemary springs, 2 lemons and the orange halves inside the cavity of the turkey.
arrange the carrots and celery stalks in the roasting pan. pour 2 cups of chicken stock into the pan and the reserved turkey fat from the tail a
rea. position turkey on top of the carrots and celery so that the turkey does not rest directly on the bottom of the pan. cover breast with foil paper and put in the oven.
every 30 minutes use a bulb boaster to siphon off cooking juices from the roasting pan and baste the bird all over. if your cooking juices are reduced to glaze add more stock, broth or water.
roast till an instant read thermometer (inserted deep into the thigh but away from the bone) reads 170 Fº, about 2 - 2 1/2 hours; begin checking at 2 hours. remove from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes before carving. reserve pan juices for gravy.


while turkeys are resting, make the gravy. in a medium saucepan, melt butter and add flower. whisk over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until a smooth, blond colored mixture is formed. add the reserved turkey stock and pan juices and bring to a boil over high heat
. reduce heat and let simmer until thickened and ready to serve. season with salt and pepper.

*10 pound turkey
*serves 6-8 people

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