Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Spice-rubbed Roast Turkey and Savory Gravy

It's that time of year so I'm going to post recipes for entertaining for the next few weeks, or months, whichever. ;)

This turkey recipe is extremely good! But the real key to a good turkey, I have found, is obsessively basting it. The more you baste it, the more tender it turns out.

This recipe is for a 14-23 lb. turkey. You will want to adjust cooking times according to the turkey wrapping directions. This recipe has 5 recipes for different rubs. I have only used the Chinese Five-Spice Rub but there is also a recipe for; Jamaican Jerk Rub, Provencal Rub, Red Curry Rub, and Southwest Chili Rub. If you want any of these other rub recipes, please post as a comment and I'll post the recipe as a comment.

Chinese Five-Spice Rub
In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon crushed anise or fennel seed, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. (Or use 2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice blend.)

1 turkey (14-23 lb.)
1/4 cup of olive or salad oil
2 tablespoons of one of the rubs listed above
Salt and pepper

1. Remove and discard leg truss from turkey. Pull off and discard any lumps of fat. Remove giblets and neck; save for Savory Gravy. Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Rub all over with oil. Rub spice mixture evenly over skin and inside neck and body cavities.

2. Place turkey, breast up, on a V-shaped rack in a 12x17 inch roasting pan.

3. Roast in a 325 degree regular or convection oven until a thermometer inserted through thickest part of breast to bone registers 160 degrees. This is where the wrapping on the turkey is helpful in cook times. I'm at a high altitude and I have to cook my turkey quite longer than this recipe specifies. Check thigh joints to make sure they move loosely and are no longer pink.

4. Transfer turkey to a platter. Let rest, uncovered, ina warm place at least 30 minutes, then carve.

Savory Gravy
Prep and cook time: About 2.5 hours.

Notes: If preparing through step 4 up to a day ahead, cover and chill. After turkey roasts, continue with step 5.

Giblets and neck from a 14-23 lb. turkey
2 onions, (12 oz.) peeled and quartered
2 carrots, (8 oz.) peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup sliced celery
1 1/2 quarts of fat skimmed chicken broth
1/2 cup cornstarch
roast turkey

1. Rinse giblets and neck (chill liver airtight to add later, save for other uses, or discard). In a 5-6 quart pan, combine giblets, neck, onions, carrots, celery and 1 cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir often over high heat until liquid has evaporated and giblets and vegetables are browned and begin to stick to pan, 12-15 minutes longer.

2. Add 1 quart broth and pepper; stir to scrape browned bits free. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until gizzard is tender when pierced, 1-1 1/2 hours. If desired, add liver; cook 10 minutes longer.

3. Pour broth through a fine strainer into a bowl. Measure and, if needed, add water to make 1 quart. Discard vegetables. If desired for gravy, pull meat off neck and finely chop, along with giblets and liver; otherwise discard neck, giblets, and liver.

4. In the 5-6 quart pan (no need to wash), blend cornstarch with 1/3 cup of water until smooth. Add the 1 quart broth, plus the chopped neck meat, giblets, and liver if using. Stir over high heat until boiling, 3 to 5 minutes.

5. When turkey is done, remove rack and bird from pan; skim off and discard fat from pan juices. *Add remaining 2 cups broth to roasting pan and stir over low heat, scarping browned bits free. Add mixture to gravy and stir over high heat until boiling. Ad salt to taste.

*Diluting the gravy made it too watery for my taste and I had to add more cornstarch to get the thickness I wanted. So you can do that or skip step #5 altogether.

Wine Gravy. Follow recipe for Savory Gravy, but in step #5 replace the last 2 cups of broth with 2 cups Chardonnay or other dry white wine, tawny port, dry sherry, or dry madeira.

~Courtesy of Sunset magazine

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