Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005

It's turkey day! :-) Got up at a reasonable hour this morning so I could get started with my roast turkey preparations. I chopped up celery, chestnuts, day old bread for the crumbs, sage, smoked bacon, dried apricots, and added salt, pepper, pinch of nutmeg, and an egg to the mixture. That is the stuffing for the turkey!

I then put all that mixture under the skin of the turkey in the breast area, and added rolled bacon, garlic and rosemary in holes in the thigh and legs. After that I rubbed the turkey with olive oil, salt and pepper and it was ready for the oven.

I was supposed to bake the turkey 18 minutes for every pound of the bird. I gave myself an additional half hour but when the three and half hours were over, the bird was not quite ready. :-( I put the meat thermometer in, and the temperature only came up to 160 F. The internal temperature was supposed to reach 180 F. So in it went back into the oven. I even turned up the temperature of the oven so it'll cook faster. Heheh.

Anyway, the turkey turned out really nice and it also tasted just as great! Yummy! We had green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, and gravy made out of the drippings of the roasted turkey. Simply delicious! :-) And we drank sparkling cider with the meal.

Thanksgiving 2005 turkey - Jamie Oliver's recipe

Jamie’s Thanksgiving Stuffing
Makes enough for a 9- to 10-pound turkey

You can make the stuffing a day or two in advance to help lighten the load on Thanksgiving Day.

2 celery sticks, finely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
Small handful of fresh sage, finely chopped
6 strips pancetta, finely chopped
2 ounces butter
Big handful of fresh breadcrumbs (bread stuffing), coarsely chopped
Handful dried apricots, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
5 or 6 chestnuts (roasted or jarred), coarsely chopped
3/4 pound freshly ground pork
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1 egg

Finely chop the celery, shallots, sage, and pancetta and add with butter to a hot frying/sauté pan. Fry gently on medium heat until everything is lightly golden brown. Take off the heat. To prepare the fresh breadcrumbs, take a loaf of day-old bread, remove the crust and place the chunks of bread in a food processor until the bread is coarsely chopped. Add the breadcrumbs and coarsely chopped apricots and chestnuts to the celery, shallots, sage, pancetta and butter mixture. Season well to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and chill.

When the stuffing is cold, add the pork, nutmeg, and egg. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Roast Turkey
Serves 6 to 8

The big problem with cooking turkey is that the legs take longer to cook than the breasts. This means the breasts dry out in the oven waiting for the legs to catch up. In this recipe, I push sage and apricot stuffing up under the turkey breast skin, increasing the thickness of the breasts so they take the same time to cook as the legs. The result? Juicy turkey all round!

Some people brine the turkey, some people don't. Personally, I like to rub the turkey with table salt inside and out and put it in a clean plastic bag and refrigerate it overnight (12 to 24 hours). This removes all the excess moisture and allows it to cook beautifully.

12 small fresh rosemary sprigs, plus few extra
At least 8 cloves of garlic, 2 peeled
6 strips pancetta (smoked bacon)
9- to 10-pound organic free-range turkey
4 shallots, roughly chopped
2 carrots
1 big orange
Olive oil
1 teaspoon flour
1 quart or vegetable stock, for the gravy
A little white wine or sherry (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. To prep the turkey, rub it with salt inside and out 12 to 24 hours before cooking; table salt is fine. Store the salted turkey in a plastic bag and refrigerate. When ready to cook, rinse or wipe off excess salt. Pat it dry with paper towels and place on a board. Make a bed of roughly chopped shallots, 6 unpeeled garlic cloves, and carrots in your roasting pan to act as a rack.

Slice the strips of pancetta in half and slice the peeled garlic into thin slivers. Place a rosemary sprig and a garlic sliver on one end of a strip of pancetta and roll it up tightly. Repeat with the other pieces of pancetta until you have 12 little rolls.

Stab the thighs and drumsticks of the turkey in 6 places on each side. Push your finger into each slit to create a gap. Place each pancetta roll into the holes until it just peeps out. Find the edge of the skin at the turkey neck and with a rubber spatula or large spoon separate the skin from breast meat so that you can put the stuffing under the skin of the turkey breast. If you're careful you should be able to separate all the skin from the meat, keeping it attached at the sides but without ripping any holes in it.

From the neck end of the turkey, spoon the stuffing up between the skin and the breast, tucking the flap of skin underneath to stop any leaking out during cooking. Microwave the orange for 30 to 60 seconds to get it nice and hot. Poke a hole in the hot orange and stuff it into the turkey cavity. You can also add some rosemary to the cavity.

Place the bird in roasting pan filled with the vegetables, season well with salt and pepper, and rub olive oil all over. Weigh the stuffed bird, cover with foil, and roast for 18 minutes per pound, or until the juices run clear from the thigh if pierced with a knife or a skewer. Remove foil for the last 45 minutes to brown the bird.

Remove the turkey and rest on a board for 20 minutes.

Remove most of the fat from the roasting pan. Mash the roast vegetables right in the pan with a potato masher. Add the flour, sherry and stock and bring to a boil on a high heat. When the gravy thickens, strain into a bowl. Serve the turkey with the gravy.

1 comment:

  1. Yummyyy yummyyyyy... email me the recipe please.. and DB, how do we make a good gravvy for steak :D


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