Orange-Herb Roasted Turkey|
For Thanksgiving 2001 I was on an orange kick. I don't know why, but many of the dishes featured oranges and the meal centered around this turkey. Rich in flavor, extremely aromatic, and wonderfully moist, this turkey made for an incredible orange scented gravy and leftovers that were really fantastic. Brining and rubbing a turkey seems like a lot of work, and it is really messy - and I seriously recommend cajoling someone else into buttering the turkey because it is quite disgusting - but the end result is worth it. You can cook this turkey almost to death and it still will be moist and flavorful. Which, if you are one of those stubborn individuals who insist on stuffing your turkey, makes it a good choice to use because it can withstand the overcooking required to thoroughly kill any nasties that might lurk in the stuffing without resulting in white meat that tastes like rawhide. Any roasting method works well for this turkey. Last year we used the soon-to-be-patented "throw it in the roaster and watch seven people remove the cover and check the turkey every 20 minutes so it takes 2 hours longer than planned to cook" method - which, by the way, I do not recommend - and it still came out excellent! We did brine our turkey, which was largely responsible for the moistness and we used the Orange and Herb Poultry Brine. We baked the Fruited Citrus Stuffing on the side. For the gravy, we used my Traditional Gravy recipe and also used half the gravy to make my Madeira Mushroom Gravy.
1 fresh turkey
Freshly ground black pepper
2 celery stalks
3 garlic cloves
Stems and few sprigs of parsley, rosemary, and sage
1 cup softened butter
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Wash the turkey inside and out and pat dry. If desired, brine using theOrange and Herb Poultry Brine. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and salt and pepper liberally inside and out. Cut the oranges, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and herbs into large pieces. Loosely stuff the main cavity and neck with the pieces. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, parsley, rosemary, sage, orange juice concentrate, orange zest, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper. Using your fingers, lift and loosen as much skin as you can all over the turkey. Take about half of the butter and rub it in between the skin and flesh of the turkey. Spread the rest of the butter and rub it all over the outside of the turkey. Truss if desired and roast according to your favorite method.