We took one for the team here in the Growing Roots kitchen - we roasted a turkey ahead of Thanksgiving so we could share the recipe with you. It's a tough job, but some one had to do it! Someone had to eat all that turkey too - again, we aim to please!
Don't be intimidated - roasting a turkey is easy. The cooks in the Growing Roots kitchen agree on the best method - a Martha Stewart technique. No luck needed here - start with a great turkey and this method will never fail! No brining or deep fat frying here - this is simple roasting.
Martha's method calls for stuffing the bird - I do not stuff a turkey - it's a food safety issue with me. In place of the stuffing I simply add aromatics to the cavity - carrots, celery, leeks, rosemary and thyme.
The key to her recipe is the cheesecloth soaked in butter and wine which drapes the breast when roasting. Basting the cheesecloth every half hour results in a beautifully moist turkey.
My oven has a temperature probe - prefect for monitoring the roasting progress. The bird roasts for the first 2 hours with the cheesecloth in place, basting every 30 minutes. After 2 hours, the cheesecloth is removed to allow for that mahogany browning of the breast. It is perfection every time.
The house fills with the smell of roasting turkey, the thigh temperature reaches 165 degrees, and finally the turkey emerges from the oven - ahhhh! Stop - wait at least 30 minutes before carving. Carving - again, don't be intimidated. Start with a good sharp knife, and follow this great instructional video from Alton Brown.
Note: it is illegal to discard the carcass before making rich turkey stock - simply illegal! Martha to the rescue again - here's a great turkey stock recipe. And, remember - no stirring the stock! Stirring the stock makes it murky. When making stock keep the heat on low, barely a simmer. Tomorrow - what to do with leftover turkey - oh, the possibilities!