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Old 11-18-2007, 02:32 AM   #1
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Turkey w/ Pomegranate-Dijon black pepper glaze & sage/smoked chipotle gravy

I used to keep this secret (ish, it was published once long ago, but it was obscure)...but due to some plagarism (which I shant go into details on again as apparently it's a no-no to call out...anyways), it's out there for anyone that wants it now, so might as well share with the fine folks here. This recipe won the "Battle of the Bird" a number of years back. It's hands-down the best turkey recipe I've ever created or tried. Once you try this one, you'll never go back. My family would riot if I didn't make it.

Notes:

-The gravy is a moderately difficult multi-step deal. Most of the difficulty comes from the fact that you can't make it till the bird is done and unless you have all your prep done beforehand, you're going to constantly be racing the clock to keep up with the recipe timing schedule, and it's going to be made right before service, so if you don't time it right you'll be doing gravy, finishing potatoes, checking on the rolls, taking out the yams etc. all at once.
-Pomegranate molasses is not always easy to find. Back when I created this recipe, I had to drive 2 hours to a Global market to get a bottle. You can find it more readily these days, but it might take some doing, so don't put it off. If you can't find it, you can make it from pom juice (recipe on foodtv.com), but it's a pain.

Turkey w/ Pomegranate-Dijon black pepper glaze & sage/smoked chipotle gravy

Pomegranate-Dijon black pepper glaze:
1.5C pomegranate molasses
3T dijon mustard
3T horseradish (NOT fresh...screws it up. jarred prepared works best)
5T black pepper
2t salt

Combine, whisk together.

The bird:
20 pound(ish) turkey
A stick of butter, softened (unless you want extra work)
3C chicken stock (I used to use cubes, now I use "Better than Boullion")
Pomegranate-Dijon black pepper glaze
Salt
Pepper

The Gravy:
3C chicken stock
1C dry white wine (I've found a good riesling works best, but any will do)
Pan drippings (very important)
5 cloves minced garlic
1 yellow onion, minced
2 celery hearts, minced
1 carrot (I prefer the purple kind, but they're hard to find), minced
3T flour
1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you won't be using the whole can unless you want to set your world on fire)
2T fresh chopped sage
Salt
Pepper

Hardware:
Roasting pan
Probe thermometer w/ temperature alarms (makes life much easier)
Wooden spoon
Squeeze baster
Silicon basting brush
Wine glass

Assembly:

-Heat your oven to 450. Rinse the bird and then pat it dry. Using your hand starting at the cavity, loosen the skin of the bird (do not remove it) so that you can get between the skin and the meat. Get some of the butter and rub it all over in this area. Very important--as the butter melts as the bird cooks, it keeps the white meat moist, which is usually a problem with birds (take THAT, recipe burglar! You skipped that step). Then lather the bird all over on the exterior with the stick of butter and then give it a liberal dose of salt and pepper inside and out. Place the probe thermometer into the thigh of the turkey.
-Throw the bird into a roasting pan and toss it into the oven for 45 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, baste the bird with 1/3 of the stock. After 30, baste it with another 1/3. After 45, the last 1/3.
(*Note: All of the basting in this recipe is entirely optional due to the melting butter inside the skin, but I still like to do it).
-Lower the temperature to 350 and cook the bird until the probe thermometer goes off at 125 degrees. Make sure to baste the bird every 15 minutes during this process.
-At 125, brush the whole bird with about 1/4 of the glaze. Do not baste. Reset the probe to 135 and repeat when it goes off. Repeat at 145. Set for 155. At 155, take the bird out and coat with one more round of the glaze. Reserve a small amount for drizzling later. Remove bird from roasting pan and let rest. Bird needs to rest for 20 minutes before cutting up.

(Gravy in next post. Word limits in posts here)

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Old 11-18-2007, 02:46 AM   #2
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Gravy:

-Crack open the can of chipotle peppers and throw them into a blender to puree them. Let em set for a minute. Run the drippings through a strainer and set aside what comes out the other end. Take a wooden spoon and scrape the bottom of the roasting pan to get everything loose, and remove as much of the fat as you can. Don't wash the pan or get rid of the yummy bits, however.
-Put it up on your stovetop over 2 burners on medium-high heat. Add the garlic, celery, carrot, and onion and cook while constantly stirring until they turn brown.
-Stir in the wine and then cook it until the wine is 100% reduced. Fill up the wine glass and do a chef's privilege taste test on the wine.
-Toss in the flour and stir constantly for about 4 minutes. Everything should turn kind of a honey brown color.
-Add the chicken stock, the pan drippings, and however much of the chipotlee puree you want for the gravy. Depending on how spicy you want the gravy to be, add between 1-4T of the puree to the pan (1 is really mild, 4 is overkill for most people. Personally I add about 2.5, which is enough to give a little bit of tickle in the back of your throat).
-Reduce the heat a bit and let the gravy simmer until the sauce thickens up. While this is happening, make sure that wine is still good, and have another glass. If it just absolutely refuses to thicken, add a little bit more flour, but it's important to taste as you cook to make sure the gravy doesn't taste like flour after a while.
-Run the gravy through the strainer again, add the sage to what comes out the other side, stir, and then put the gravy into a gravy separator so you don't have to skim the fat out of it.
-That wine is starting to look a little vinegary at this point...might want to try one more glass to make sure it's still doing OK.

Presentation:

After you've sliced up the bird, drizzle the remaining glaze over the sliced breast meat just before serving. The....person...who took the recipe as his own did something I never pondered, and sprinkled it all with some pomegranate seeds, which I think would probably be a nice touch, but I've never tried it.

Envy:

Enjoy a wry grin as you watch everybody's eyes roll into the backs of their heads as they try it all.
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Old 11-18-2007, 10:18 AM   #3
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oh my goodness! This sounds wonderful!!!! so, uh, since your turkey recipe is out of the bag.... when ya gonna disclose your home address? And a good time to arrive?
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Old 11-19-2007, 04:52 PM   #4
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Pshaw. I'm having to cook 2 birds this year as it is. A 24 pounder that won't last the night and a 15 pounder so The Lady of the House and I will have leftovers. There's no more room :P.

You have the instructions. Go forth, and become hero :P.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:18 PM   #5
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Amazingly enough, I stumbled upon pomegranate molasses today...
In the deli of a Greek restaurant!
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