While a whole stuffed and roasted lamb on a bed of jeweled rice is quite the feast, a whole roast turkey is also festive and perfect of an intimate gathering between family over Eid, or graduation, or engagement parties. This roast turkey is no ordinary turkey though. It takes a full 24 hours of brining, and another 24 hours drying, before the ultimate 3.5 hours of cooking and 30 minutes of resting to achieve this unbelievably succulent, tender, and juicy turkey.
You can of course serve this turkey with some mashed or roasted potato, but I went all-out and served it on a bed of minced meat rice dressed with copious amounts of fried nuts and whole fried chestnuts. A gravy was whipped into shape with the drippings as the turkey sat, and truly this was the kind of feast that has you thankful for the loved ones who shared it with you and missing departed loved ones who you wish were there.
1 whole turkey (about 5kg)
150g herbed butter
3 cups stock/broth
2 large onions
3 litres of water
3/4 cups salt
4 large bay leaves
1-2 sprigs rosemary
zest from 1 orange
1 Tbsp peppercorns
1 Tbsp whole allspice berries
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, smashed
To brine the turkey: In a very large pot, heat water. Add salt, bay leaves, orange zest, peppercorns, allspice, brown sugar and garlic. Heat and stir until salt and brown sugar have dissolved. Cool completely. Place the turkey, breast side down, in the large pot until almost completely submerged in the water. Refrigerate for 24 hours then drain the brine from the turkey. Place several layers of paper towels in a roasting pan. Place turkey on the paper towels, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours before roasting.
To roast the turkey: Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350F. Remove turkey from roasting pan; drain any accumulated juices from main cavity. Discard paper towels from roasting pan. Return turkey to prepared pan. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place apple quarters and onion quarters in main cavity. Brush half the melted herb butter over turkey; sprinkle with pepper. Add reserved turkey neck to pan.
Roast turkey half an hour. Baste with remaining half of melted butter, roast another 30 minutes then pour over the turkey 1 cup broth, repeating two more times every 30 minutes. Baste turkey every 30 minutes with pan juices and cover breast loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 2 hours longer (3 1/2 hours total). Transfer turkey to platter; let stand (loosely covered in foil) at least 30 minutes before carving.
To make the gravy, strain pan juices into a saucepan; spoon off fat from surface. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in a couple tablespoons of water and whisk in until thickened. Season gravy to taste.
Serve the rested turkey over a bed of chestnut rice with a gravy boat on the side.
Note: to make your own herbed butter, combine by hand or in a food processor: 150g soft butter, 1 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (coriander, parsley, sage, rosemary), 2 tsp salt, and 3 grated garlic cloves.
صحة و عافية