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Old 06-21-2005, 03:34 PM   #1
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The Best Thanksgiving Ever!

It's a little early, but this will give you something to check into before November rolls around again...


This is a recipe a friend of mine shared with me. I believe it's a Wolfgang Puck recipe for Turkey.

I have to be blatantly honest with you... it's the absolute best turkey you'll ever eat.

It was my first time making a turkey, and it was the best I've ever tasted...


And now... without further adieu...

~~~



As promised here is the Thanksgiving Turkey to end all Thanksgiving Turkey recipies.

Brined Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy


This is the best Turkey recipe Iíve ever come across. Itís a Wolfgang Puck recipe and I tried it last year. In fact I made it twice. It is OUTSTANDING. Everyone that tried it said it was the best turkey they ever had. And they were all Louisiana people who get fried turkey and know what good turkey tastes like.

I would make the brine and the turkey stock the day before. This is important because you need to brine the turkey for 24 hours for the best effect. Also you want the stock prepared so you can whip up the gravy.


DAY 1

Brine:
1 gallon water
1/2 ounce ground cloves
1/2 ounce ground ginger
4 ounces cracked black peppercorns
12 bay leaves
1 pound kosher salt
24 ounces honey
24 ounces maple syrup
1 (12 - 14 pound) whole fresh turkey, giblets and neck removed and reserved for stock

In a large stockpot, bring the water, cloves, ginger, black peppercorn, bay leaves and salt to a boil. Lower to a simmer and stir in the honey and maple syrup until well blended. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold tap water. Reserve the neck and specialty meats for pan gravy. Set the turkey in the brine, making sure that the turkey is fully immersed in the brine. Place a weight on top of the turkey to make sure it is always covered with brine. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Turkey Stock (Can be made ahead up to 4 days. Keep refrigerated:
Giblets and neck from 1 turkey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup port wine
1 cup roughly chopped onions
1/2 cup roughly chopped carrots
1/2 cup roughly chopped celery
2 sprigs rosemary
5 peppercorns
Water, to cover

Heat a saucepan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and heat. Add the neck and giblets and cook until browned all over, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and deglaze with the port. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the port is almost completely evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Add the carrots, onions, celery, rosemary and peppercorns. Cover with cold water by 4-inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer for 2 hours, adding a little more water, if necessary. Skim any scum that rises to the surface of the stock and discard.
Strain the stock.

DAY 2

Roasting:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

1 cup cubed carrots
1 cup cubed celery
1 cup cubed onions

In a shallow roasting pan, place the carrots, celery and onions.
Remove turkey from brine.

1 stick butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
2 apples, quartered and cored
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 rosemary sprigs
3 sprigs sage
Olive oil, for drizzling




Mix together the butter, garlic, chopped rosemary, and sage to make a compound butter. Using your hands, loosen to the skin from the breast by gently inserting your fingers between the skin and the flesh. Be careful not to rip the skin. Rub the compound butter underneath the skin. Insert the apples, onions, and whole rosemary and sage into the cavity of the turkey.



Place the turkey over the vegetables, breast-side up, in the roasting pan. Tuck the wings back and under the turkey. Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together. This will make a compact shape and will create a great presentation. Drizzle the turkey with olive oil and rub it into the skin.

Now this next part is VITAL! So donít mess it up. Go buy yourself a good digital thermometer. It will have a long probe with a wire on it so you can stick it in the turkey and read the meter outside the oven. Roast the turkey to exactly 165 degrees F in the breast, It should take about 2 1/2 hours but donít go by the clock. If the skin gets too dark during roasting, tent with foil.



When the bird gets to 165 take it out of the oven, Transfer to a platter and tent it with foil and allow it to rest. DO NOT CUT THE BIRD UNTIL IT RESTS FOR A GOOD 10 TO 15 MINUTES. IF you cut it too soon all the juices will run out and you will have dry turkey like last year.











While the turkey is roasting, prepare the pan gravy.

1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup Madeira wine
4 cups turkey stock, recipe at the top.
1 sprig thyme
2 sprigs parsley
Beurre manie (2 ounces butter mixed with 2 ounces flour until it forms a soft dough)
Salt and pepper

Tilt the pan and skim as much fat as possible off the juice with a spoon. Set the pan on 2 burners set on medium heat. Deglaze roasting pan with white wine and Madeira. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits. Reduce until only a quarter remains. Add the turkey stock, thyme and parsley. Bring to a boil and strain into a saucepan. Bring back to a boil, skim and lower to a simmer. Whisk in the beurre manie until well incorporated and continue to cook until gravy has thickened. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.



Note: For those of you who wont use wine, just use some of the turkey stock. That will be fine. For those of you who will use the wine and Madeira, go get a real bottle. Donít use that cooking wine stuff. It will ruin the gravy. And remember all the alcohol will cook out so you wonít have any issues with that. Trust me this is awesome stuff.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Old 06-21-2005, 05:22 PM   #2
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Sounds good Txn {notice I didn't put NY? hehe Your a texan now, no going back}
Idon't know if I can get my hubby away from the fried turkey, cause it sure is goooood.
I'll try 2 this year, one like this and the fried, that'll work.
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Old 06-21-2005, 06:35 PM   #3
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I made a brined with Maple Syrup Turkey last year and it was good but I hafto say this sounds absolutly fantastic.
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Old 06-21-2005, 10:08 PM   #4
 
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Don't care for brining, but your gravy sounds awesome!

Don't forget sides of chipotle sweet potato gratin and cranberry Jezebel.
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Old 06-21-2005, 10:08 PM   #5
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This puppy is awesome.
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Old 06-25-2005, 02:09 PM   #6
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Great technique! The most important thing you can do to insure a perfect turkey, is to cook it to between 160 and 165 degrees Farenheight. Any more than that will dry out the meat.

Brining a bird refers to soaking in a salt water solution. What you did was marinate the bird in a non-acidic marinade, which is fantastic for infusing the flavors you want into the meat. Some people prefer more savory flavors, while others, obviously like yourself, prefer a touch of sweetness in the end product.

I come out with tender, exceptionally juicy birds, which all of my family, and co-workders clamor for by brining, then smoking over indirect heat in my barbecue. Again, the secret to the texture and moisture content are careful temperature control of the cooked meat.

You have done well grasshopper. Now experiment with flavorings and become the turkey/poultry pro and realize your full potential

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 06-25-2005, 09:01 PM   #7
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We don't care for brining either. Most frozen turkeys come packed in a solution (brine). Smoked or fried is absolutely the best way to eat them.

We just never found brining to be much value added for all the time and trouble. Seems to also chane the texture of the meat. And we just don't have the room to be brining 10-30 turkeys at once.

Lots of people like it.



Our turkeys
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Old 06-25-2005, 09:35 PM   #8
 
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Rainee, wow! Almost makes me hungry for turkey!

I've brined turkey, chicken, and pork and haven't been impressed with any of them. It does change the texture of the meat and makes it way too salty, IMO.
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Old 06-26-2005, 12:07 PM   #9
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I'm not sure how I did it, but I missed the "1 lb. of Kosher Salt" in the original posting. The turkey was indeed brined.

I like to brine, but with a less salty solution, which means my brined food goes into the fridge to prevent bacterial growth. The texture of the end result comes our very juicy as the salt tends to pull additional moisture into the meat through osmotic pressure (I think). I always grill or barbecue after brining. This allows the additional moisture to escape, while leaving in enough to insure extra juicy meat.

I don't brine often as it takes up time and valuable space. Again, cooking to the proper temperature is far more important to you success. Oh, and Rainee, those are some fine looking birds. Makes me think I'm gonna have to get into the woods and collect some branches this week, fire up the Webber, and follow your example. Maybe I'll try some tag-alder for the wood. I hear it has a great flavor. And I love great flavor.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 06-26-2005, 07:48 PM   #10
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I can assure you folks, the turkey was neither too salty nor was it strange in texture.


I'm tellin' ya, it was the best trurkey I've ever eaten, and I've eaten my share of turkey, including fried...
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