Thursday, September 27, 2012

Roasted Turkey and a full freezer

The boys were successful hunting.  They brought home two moose, which is plenty of meat for the 5 of them that went out.  My brother took a couple of coolers full of meat, and we'll send a cooler down to Dan from Georgia, then divide the rest between my oldest son, who lives in town, my brother in law and us.  We will send some down to the kids in the states, but they really don't have a lot of freezer space and it is so expensive to ship, but they like having a little moose in their freezer to remind them of home and feed to their friends.

Needless to say, our freezer is very full with meat right now.  I'm down to two containers of chicken stock and won't be able to make and store some any time soon.

We also had two turkeys, yes two, left over from last November.  The grocery store I shop at gives a free turkey for every $100 or so you spend, so I shop in small increments those two weeks they run that special.  We usually have one at Thanksgiving, one on New Year's Day and donate the rest to the food bank.  For some reason this year we did not get them donated and they sat in a cooler on the back deck for a couple of days until Dave decided they had started to thaw and we needed to cook them.  So we cooked two turkeys.  One we (meaning Dave) deep fried, and one we (meaning me) roasted.  We invited friends over to have dinner with us and we wouldn't let them leave without bags of turkey.

We will have turkey sandwiches, and I'll make some soup with turkey, I'll also freeze bags for my lunch.  Did I mention that Dave doesn't like turkey?  Yea, I'm going to eat a lot of turkey in my lunch for a while.

Perfect Roasted Turkey

1 turkey, rinsed, cleaned and stuff in the cavity removed (you know the neck and that stuff)
1 onion
2 stalks celery
1 lemon
1 bunch fresh thyme
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chicken stock

Turkey Gravy
2 cups broth from roaster after turkey is cooked
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Rinse the turkey and clean the bits of feathers that always get overlooked.  Make sure the cavity is empty (some people save this for gravy, I don't).  Place turkey, breast side up, in a roasting pan.  Gently slide your hands between the skin and the breast meat.  Place pats of butter under the skin.  Salt and pepper the turkey inside the cavity and on the skin.

Cut the onion in half and peel, chop celery into 3-4 inch long sticks, and quarter the lemon; place in the cavity of the turkey, add the bunch of thyme.  Pour 1 cup stock into bottom of roasting pan.  Cover turkey with foil and place in oven.  Roast for 1 hour, turn oven down to 350 and roast for about 10-13 minutes per pound, or until thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165ºF.  During the last 2 hours, remove the foil and bast with broth from the roaster.

When turkey is cooked, remove from oven and place turkey on platter, cover with foil to rest for 20 minutes.  Strain broth from roaster, cool slightly and skim fat from top.

To make gravy:
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  When butter is melted and stops foaming, sprinkle in flour, stir until flour is incorporated into the butter.  Let cook, stirring frequently, until a golden brown color.  Whisk in two cups turkey broth that has been strained and de-fatted.  Bring to a boil to thicken.  Taste and add salt and pepper to adjust seasoning.

I always start my turkey a little early, it can rest more than 20 minutes if you need it to.  On big holidays, I'll let it rest, have Dave carve it, refrigerate it and reheat it just before the meal.  Don't ever leave your turkey at room temperature move than 1 hour (I think if you google it, experts will say 2 hours, but why risk it?).

The ratio of the gravy is easy to adjust it is just one Tbsp. of flour and butter to every cup of liquid.  Cook the flour and butter so it is a nice toasty brown to remove that raw flour taste.

September 27, 2012     Daylight 11 hours, 40 minutes, 24 seconds     Temp  43º F

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