Another turkey recipe that will not work? By far not!
This one will be a success and it is really fun to make as well!
Forget about bread stuffing that only absorbs all the good juices and leaves the meat dry and you loved ones unhappy. The best recipe on the internet is this one by Nigella Lawson.
Mine is slightly different, as I am not a fan of meat that tastes like dessert!
If you do not have a pot big enough to submerge your turkey, use a clean bucket. My turkey did well in it and it works perfectly fine, just keep your strong husband or son around to move the beast in the bucket to its overnight stay someplace cold.
6 liters fresh water and a bucket
1 large orange or 2 smaller (quartered)
250 grams maldon salt
3 tablespoons red, green and black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons white mustard seeds
80 grams sugar
4 onions (unpeeled and quartered)
lots of fresh thyme
5 peeled carrots or more, whole
1 1/2 apples, whole
8 -12 peeled garlics
200 grams chestnuts precooked
150 grams melted butter
1 x 6,5 kilograms turkey
For serving: cranberry jam, definitely!
Calculate 30 min/kilogram! Mine took a little over 3 hours. If your turkey is smaller than mine the spices can stay just the same you might just need to use a smaller apple. It is a little bit like paying for a handbag, the slightly smaller one of the same kind is not that much cheaper to make a difference ...
The fresh turkey must brine overnight or up to two days.
Pour the water into your bucket, add all of the Maldon salt and stir. squeeze the orange quarters into the water, let the peel drop in, too. add all the spices and submerge the bird feet up. covered with some heavy pot or possibly your son's skateboard and set outside some place safe from wild animals, but cold. You can visit your turkey anytime, like I did. It did just look so nice!
Bring the brined turkey in 1-2 hours before you want to roast it, by the way all meat needs to be at room temperature before its cooked, otherwise it gets hard and chewy and you don't want that!
Take the turkey out of the bucket, tap it dry with paper towels and fill it with:
Thyme, garlic, chestnuts, apple, onion and carrots. I put one 1/2 apple 2 garlic and some chestnuts as well into the opening where the neck was and sew it close with some strong sewing string. When you turn it it won't fall out and the steam and juices will stay in. Remove the string before carving and serving.
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Place the turkey first breast down in a large enough roasting pan, add the 3 onions, more garlic, carrots around, add enough water or soup so the bottom is 1-2 cm covered, that will be the base for your gravy as well.
The rest of the thyme and garlic, carrots and onion add the flavor to the liquid, Before you place the turkey in the oven smear the melted butter all over the turkey and salt it again before you put it in the oven.
Set the time for 90 minutes, and the roasting process can begin, the turkey must be braised with the liquid from the pan throughout the roasting process to make sure it is flavored with it and the skin browns evenly. After the first 90 minutes and the skin on the back is browned, turn the turkey on its back, breast up and give it the rest of the time which is approximately another 90 minutes.
If you have a meat thermometer stick it in the turkey's meat. The roasting is done if the core temperature is 65-70°C, or if pierced, clear juice comes out of the pierced skin.
Never use flour as most recipes will tell you!
I let the turkey once cooked rest for 20min - the resting is quite important for meat in general - covered with foil and then I remove all the vegetable-stuffing, pour the juice from the roasting pan, minus the vegetables from the pan - you can place those on the plate with your side vegetables - and cook it all in a pot until tender, spiced with some chili, blend it thoroughly until smooth. This is your best gravy ever, full of flavor, great when served hot over the succulent meat.
I love vegetables like nigritella ( Kohlsprossen) with some bacon and roasted almond slivers, dried plums wrapped in bacon and baked, or string beans.
Turkey meat is great to use for leftover meals, in sandwiches or heated next day for lunch with a salad. That is why I make such a big bird, I love those next days with this amazingly tasty and juicy meat.
Hope I could take away some fear to tackle such an intimidating recipe. It is actually quite easy and will impress beyond words.