Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Turkeys Are In The Air

If you missed out on a turkey during Thanksgiving, X-mas is around the block providing a perfect opportunity to roast our favorite holiday fowl.

Monica is the lead server at the Cafe that I work at, when I'm not Blading with Chef Knives.  Being her favorite cook (snicker), in her Romanian accent, she asked if I could roast her Turkey for a party she was hosting.

Let's begin.  Before roasting the turkey, I had to prepare it. First the skin was seasoned heavily.  I ensured to evenly distribute the salt as if it were the first day of snow.

When roasting a large piece of meat, like this Turkey, a rack to elevate the protein allows equal heat distribution.  In search of more flavor I chose to use a bed of Mirepoix instead. (Mirepoix = 50% Onions, 25% Carrots, and 25% Celery)

In hopes of avoiding dry meat, I stuffed butter underneath the skin.

To brighten up the light gamey taste Turkey has, I massaged some lemon and garlic to make a compound butter. 

Taking a handful of parsley and Rosemary I blended it with some oil to make an herb-oil rub that would allow even cooking. 

The cavity even had a rosemary sprig and some mirepoix to add some flavor. 

My favorite type of roasted bird has a crispy exterior that makes a crunching noise when poked and a moist interior that makes you salivate instead of running for the gravy.  In a 425˚F oven, I seared the turkey on all sides by rotating the pan every 10 minutes and I even flipped the bird. 

It was then slow cooked for 2 hours until the Red button popped out.  The red button indicates the center is cooked, a gift to home cooks or anyone else who doesn't have a cooking thermometer.

Monica couldn't help herself, she wanted to eat the whole thing to herself.

Roasted Turkey
yield: a small party

Ingredients                                                      Amounts
Turkey                                                                 1 ea.

For the Mirepoix
Carrots, large dice                                               2 ea.
Celery, Stalks, Large scrabble chip size              5 ea.
Onion, Large Dice                                               1 ea.

Rosemary Sprigs                                                 2 ea.

For the Butter
Butter, unsalted, room temperature                     1/4 lb
Lemon juice from an actual lemon                       1 ea.
Garlic, cloves, minced                                          1 ea.

1.  Cut Mirepoix.  Lay on a sheet pan for a "natural" rack. 
2.  Combine ingredients for compound butter by massaging lemon juice and garlic cloves into butter.
3.  Pat Turkey dry with a towel,  Remove gizzards and neck from inside the cavity.  Season heavily. Insert butter underneath skin and place on bed of mirepoix rack.  Evenly coat exterior with oil (or an herb oil if you have any herbs around)
4.  Sear turkey in a 425˚F oven rotating bird every 10 minutes or until skin is crispy on all sides. Remove turkey and set oven to 275˚F oven slow cooking for 2 hours till internal temperature reads 180 or bird red button indicator has ejected.