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Roasted Turkey With Juniper-Ginger Butter And Pan Gravy

By Susie Middleton   |   Wednesday, November 9, 2011
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Roasted turkey with juniper-ginger butter and pan gravy on tray
 

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a gorgeous, flavorful roast turkey, and I've got two secrets to share with you for cooking a juicy turkey every time: brine the bird, and rub a compound butter under the skin before you roast it.

Ingredients
For the juniper-ginger butter:
7 oz. (14 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. minced shallots
1 Tbs. ground juniper
1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
1 Tbs. fresh thyme
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

For the brined turkey:
2-1/2 lb. kosher salt (8-3/4 cups if you're using Diamond Crystal brand)
1-1/2 lb. (3 cups plus 3 Tbs.) granulated sugar
2/3 cup freshly ground black pepper
2-1/2 oz. fresh rosemary sprigs (about 2 large bunches), lightly crushed
2-1/2 oz. fresh thyme sprigs (about 2 large bunches), lightly crushed
14-lb. natural turkey (preferably fresh)

Tip: Because different brands of kosher salt have different densities, be sure to measure by weight. For example, 2-1/2 lb. of Morton brand salt is only about 4-1/2 cups.

For the gravy:
1 cup lower-salt chicken broth
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 oz. (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
At least one day ahead, make the butter

Directions
Mix the butter ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate 4 Tbs. of the butter for the gravy and set the rest aside at room temperature for the turkey.

One day ahead, brine and prepare the turkey

In a plastic container or stockpot large enough to hold the turkey, mix all the brine ingredients (except the turkey) in 3 gallons of cold water, stirring until the salt and sugar are mostly dissolved. Discard the neck and the giblets and trim any excess skin or fat. Trim the tail, if desired. Rinse the turkey and submerge it in the brine for at least 4 hours and no more than 6 hours. If the turkey floats, weight it down with a couple of dinner plates.

Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Starting at the top of the breast, run your fingers between the breast and the skin to separate them, being careful not to rip the skin. Once you're halfway down the breast, turn the turkey around and work from the bottom of the breast until you have loosened the skin from the breast, thighs, and as far down the legs as you can reach. Rub the juniper butter under the skin, covering the breast and as much of the legs as possible. Tuck the wings behind the breast and truss the turkey with twine, securing the legs to the body. Set the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 6 and up to 24 hours.

Roast the turkey

Position a rack in the bottom of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. If any brine has dripped from the turkey into the roasting pan, pour it out. Then pour 2 cups of warm water into the bottom of the pan and cover the entire roasting pan with foil. Roast undisturbed for 2 hours; remove the pan from the oven and remove the foil. Roast the uncovered turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of both thighs reads 165°F, 45 minutes to 1 hour longer.

Move the turkey to a cutting board, tent with foil to keep warm, and let rest for about 30 minutes.

Make the gravy

Strain the turkey drippings into a fat separator cup (or another clear, heatproof container). Let sit until the fat rises to the top and then separate exactly 2 cups of the turkey juice from the fat—don't use more than that or the gravy will be too salty. Combine the 2 cups juice with the chicken broth and enough water to make 4-1/2 cups liquid.

In a medium saucepan, melt the reserved juniper-ginger butter and the unsalted butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the liquid, bring just to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Whisking frequently, continue to cook about 5 minutes longer to meld the flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make Ahead Tips

The turkey must be brined and buttered a day ahead. You can make and refrigerate the butter up to 1 week ahead or freeze for 2 months. Bring to room temperature before preparing the turkey.

How To Carve a Turkey

nutrition information (per serving) for this recipe:
Size : 6 oz. meat, 2 fl. oz. gravy; Calories (kcal): 500; Fat (g): 26; Fat Calories (kcal): 230; Saturated Fat (g): 11; Protein (g): 60; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): 5; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Sodium (mg): 440; Cholesterol (mg): 185; Fiber (g): 0;

Reviews of this recipe on Fine Cooking



Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

Maple-Pecan Squares
By Annie Copps

Monday, August 9, 2010
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I can’t imagine anything more New England-y than maple syrup. We tend to think of maple syrup as a cold weather ingredient or just the thing to top french toast and pancakes, but maple sugaring just wrapped up and the new batches of New England maple syrup are on the shelves. Here’s one of my favorite uses for maple syrup.

Yield: 2 dozen

Ingredients
Crust
1-1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

Filling
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose white flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan.

Make the crust by combining the 1-1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and butter. Blend with a fork until the mixture has the consistency of cornmeal. Pat into the baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling by combining the 2/3 cups brown sugar and the maple syrup in a saucepan and simmering for 5 minutes. Pour this over the beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Stir in the 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and vanilla. Pour over the partially baked crust. Sprinkle with the nuts.

Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

___________________________________________________________
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Potato Puffballs By Annie Copps

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
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finished potato puffs

Potatoes are plentiful and I don't care what anyone from Idaho says… Maine potatoes are the best!

While working on our Yankee Magazine cookbook—The Best New England recipes, I came across this gem from 1937.

Boil 6 MAINE potatoes until tender. When they are cool enough to pick up, pass them through a ricer or food mill. Add some milk and parmesan cheese. Form them into ping pong sized balls and roll them in bread crumbs then bake 10 minutes. I dare you to eat just one of the browned and crisp wonders. Perfect on their own or next to a big, thick, juicy steak... either way, get yourself to some local Maine potatoes and try 'em.

Just try to eat one—we dare you.

Total time: 1 ½ hours (1 hour 15 minutes if pan-fried)
Prep time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 dozen pieces

Ingredients
6 medium Russet potatoes (preferably Maine)
2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup hot whole milk
½ cup grated sharp cheese (or blue cheese)
Pinch kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 large eggs
4 cups unseasoned bread crumbs

Directions
Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and cut potatoes into 2-inch chunks. Place in a pan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, but still hot, pass through a potato ricer or food mill into a medium bowl. By hand, stir in 1 cup hot milk and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Be careful not to over mix.

Beat eggs and place in a shallow dish or pie pan. Place bread crumbs in shallow pie dish. Generously oil a rimmed baking sheet. Form potato mixture into golf ball-sized rounds. Roll each in the eggs, then bread crumbs. Working quickly place on baking sheet 1 inch apart from each other.

Bake 10 minutes and flip, until well-browned and crisped. Season with salt. Serve hot.

Cornbread And Sausage Stuffing

By Susie Middleton   |   Thursday, November 10, 2011
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redbacking dish full of cornbread and sausage stuffing
 

Everyone has their favorite stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving, and this is one of mine. It's got not-too-sweet crumbles of cornbread, Italian sausage, and lots of fresh herbs – delicious!

This stuffing is delicious when cooked inside the bird, we like this simple, juicy roast turkey. If you plan to cook the stuffing separately, follow the instructions below, it can be cooked in the same oven or at the same temperature as your turkey.

Tip: For a stuffing with a bit of heat, use hot Italian sausage or even chorizo.

Yields 12 to 14 cups

Ingredients
3/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage (without casings), cut in small chunks
3 to 4 Tbs. rendered bacon fat or butter, if needed
2 cups chopped onion
1-1/2 cups finely chopped celery, including leaves
1-1/2 cups finely chopped bell pepper, preferably a mix of red and green
2 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 recipe Basic Cornbread, crumbled
1 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper
Turkey stock or homemade or low-salt chicken broth as needed

Directions
In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add enough rendered bacon fat or butter to the pan to get about 5 Tbs. total fat. Add the onion, celery, peppers, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook briefly until the onion is softened. With a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits in the pan. Combine in a large bowl with the crumbled cornbread, scallions, parsley, chives, and pepper. Toss to combine.

If cooking in a turkey, put the stuffing in the bird just before roasting. Pack the stuffing loosely, leaving enough room to fit your whole extended hand into the bird's cavity. Cook the stuffing in the bird to 160º to 165ºF, checking with an instant-read thermometer. If the bird is done before the stuffing is, take the bird out of the oven, spoon the stuffing into a casserole dish, and continue to bake it while the turkey rests. If baking some or all of the stuffing in a casserole, pour a cup or two of stock over the stuffing to replace the juices the stuffing would have absorbed from the bird. Bake it covered until heated through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. For a crunchy top, uncover it for the last 15 minutes of baking.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per 1/2 cup stuffing; Calories (kcal): 110; Fat (g): 6; Fat Calories (kcal): 50; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2; Carbohydrates (g): 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 450; Cholesterol (mg): 20; Fiber (g): 1

Reviews of this recipe on Fine Cooking


Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

Stuffing Egg Cups By Annie Copps

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
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stuffing egg on plate
The day after the big feast, the house is full of people young and old and although the fridge is bursting with leftovers no one's quite ready for turkey with their coffee. We use two morning staples—cornbread and sausage—in our stuffing, so why not begin the fourth Friday of November with a hearty breakfast?

Okay, for the record, this is so divinely delicious and ingenious (if I do say so myself), you are going to want me to be your new queen… seriously. All you do is line a muffin tin (or individual ramekins) with leftover stuffing—press it around the sides to form a nest. Crack an egg into each cup and bake. That is it. A perfect breakfast to fortify you for all those Friday-after shopping bargains.

Start to Finish Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
6 cups (approximately) leftover stuffing
12 large eggs
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Heat oven to 350.° Mist the 12 cups of a large muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Put about 1/2 cup stuffing into each cup, pressing the bottom and along the sides to about halfway up. Without breaking the yolk, crack 1 egg into each cup. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake 15 minutes for slightly loose yolks, 20 or more for hard-cooked.

Deep Fried Turkey

Monday, November 22, 2010
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fried turkey on thanksgiving table
Perhaps you've heard about a growing trend in turkey cooking—I'm talking about the deep-fried turkey. Sound weird? Well it isn't and it's delicious and easier than you might think.

I'd eat a deep fried sneaker if I could, I love fried food, but somehow a deep-fried turkey didn't sound so good. Well, I have tried them and you won't believe how delicious they come out—crispy on the outside and super-moist inside, and surprisingly NOT greasy.

There are a few tips and precautions you'll want to take. First, I recommend buying a kit—it comes with the heat source, the right sized pot, AND a metal basket to lower the bird in and out of the pot. Make sure you choose a level spot outside in a place that is not windy.

Bring your oil to temperature. Thoroughly, I mean thoroughly dry the turkey inside and out—any water will make the oil splatter and pops and you do not want that. Lower the bird into the hot oil and let it go for 40 minute—yes… 1/3 of the time it takes to roast a whole turkey. Let rest and dig in… you'll have to cook the stuffing separately and I recommend you not fry that part of your Thanksgiving meal.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 1 hours
Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients
1 12- to 14-pound turkey, neck and giblets removed
4 gallons vegetable oil

Directions
Thoroughly dry bird inside and out.

Pour oil into a 7- to 8-gallon frying pot. Place pot on burner and heat oil to 375° over medium-low heat according to the manufacturer's instructions. Mount turkey onto frying base and, using oven mitts and a sturdy hook, carefully lower turkey into hot oil.

Check the thermometer often during frying and keep oil at 350°. Fry 40 minutes.

Turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 170°.

Remove turkey from oil using oven mitts and hook; drain and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

About the Author
Susie Middleton Susie Middleton
Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine and the author of veggie cookbooks Fast, Fresh & Green and The Fresh & Green Table.

Follow her on Twitter at @sixburnersue

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