The only thing that I look more forward to than turkey, is the following day, when a turkey sandwich with delicious bread is in order. Some people don't like turkey, but it is one of my favorite parts. My first few times attempting the turkey were not that successful! Here are some tips that I have come to follow over the years.
1. Free-range and organic is the best way to go. A lot of turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving and I like to know that I am enjoying one that had a great life before.
2. Make sure that you rinse the turkey with cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel. Also, don't forget to remove the giblets! You don't want to have to pry it out after the turkey is done, it can be embarrassing - speaking from experience!
3. Prepare all of your trimmings ahead of time, this cuts back on hand washing after touching the raw meat.
4. Use a baster to ensure that the final result is moist and if you find that the turkey is getting too brown on the top, tent it with tin foil to prevent burning.
5. Let it set before carving! I have had Thanksgivings when I did not time it right and we were practically falling asleep at the table waiting for the turkey to be done and then when we get the final okay (i.e. the thermometer popped) have carved it when it is too hot and didn't look very appetizing. I like to let it set for 15 minutes.
Cider Glazed Turkey with Thyme and Sage
12 pound turkey, preferable organic and free-range with a thermometer
1 ½ cups apple cider
20 springs of thyme
5 bunches of sage
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups broth, vegetable or turkey
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Let turkey sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Rinse turkey and pat dry, making sure to remove the giblets. Place turkey on roasting pan. Fill cavity with onions, carrots, ten springs of thyme, 3 bunches of sage. Pour broth into base of pan. Chop remaining sage and thyme and combine with softened butter. Smother turkey with herbed butter, season with salt and pepper. Place in oven.
Meanwhile make cider glaze. Place cider and remaining thyme in a sauce pot. Cook over medium heat until cider reduces in half.
Once turkey has cooked, brush cider glaze on top. Let turkey set for at least 30 minutes to cool before carving.
*General rule for cooking a turkey – 20 minutes per pound
Turkey Gravy with Rosemary and Sage
5 sprigs of thyme
3 sprigs rosemary
¼ cup flour
Directions: Place roasting pan on burner. Add thyme and rosemary to drippings and whisk together. Add flour and water to thin out. Continue to whisk until liquid thickens. Pour into a serving bowl.
Styling & Photography by Alison