Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Making an herbed turkey

I wish I could share pictures of this with you, but since I haven't yet made a turkey, I don't have any photos. Use your imagination. Or look at this photo I found on the web that really doesn't do my turkey justice.

Every year I make an herbed turkey. I start with a Kosher turkey that does not have to be brined. You really DO NOT want to brine a Kosher turkey. It's already salted and would be almost inedible due to the saltiness.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Herb Rub

12-14 lb Kosher turkey
1/4 cup fresh parsley
3 TBS fresh rosemary. Set aside 5 or six whole rosemary leaves.
3 TBS fresh thyme
3 TBS fresh sage. Set aside another 4 or 5 whole sage leaves.
1/4 GOOD olive oil
1 lemon sliced in half
1 clove garlic crushed and chopped fine.
freshed cracked black pepper to taste

Combine the parsley, rosemary, thyme, pepper and sage in a morter and pestle or chop by hand until herbs are all finely chopped. Combine with the garlic and olive oil. Sqeeze about a TBS of lemon juice into the mixture. Mix together to make a nice greenish paste.

Very carefully rinse and pat the turkey dry. Now, with one hand, start slipping your hand under the skin, being very careful not to pull or tear the skin. You'll have to break the membrane that holds the skin to the meat, but it will break easily with your hand. You're trying to loosen up all the skin on the top of the turkey, and on the top of the drumsticks. This might take a bit of time the first time you do it, but even if you tear a bit of the skin, keep going. Your goal is to make a pocket between the skin and the meat.

Once you have separated the skin from the meat, with your hand take small scoops of the herb mix and rub it on the meat under the skin. Cover the entire top of the bird inside the pocket. You should not use all the mixture, set aside some for the top of the turkey.

Once the herb mixture has been applied on the inside of the turkey, take the whole leaves and make a flower under the skin. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it adds a lot to the wow factor.

With the remaining herb mixture, rub the top of the turkey all over, moistening the skin completely. This will allow the skin to crisp up and brown to perfection.

Once the top is done, make a bouquet garni with the remainder of the herbs. (Wrap the herbs in cheesecloth or wrap them into a bundle with some kitchen string.)

Turkey Interior

Bouquet garni
half a lemon
2 carrots, peeled
2 celery ribs
1 whole sweet onion
1 garlic clove, crushed

Take the half of lemon and sqeeze out the juice. Rub the juice all over the interior of the bird. Keep the lemon half. Then rub the interior with the crushed garlic. If you hate garlic, it's OK to leave it out. Wrap the carrots and celery in with the bouquet garni packet, and place inside the cavity. Put the sweet onion and lemon half in as well.

Stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, right above the drumstick.

Place a small piece of parchment paper over the turkey breast, and then a small piece of foil atop the paper. I don't think foil should touch food. If you're not as paranoid, then just tent the foil over the breast.

Cook for an hour, and then remove the foil and paper. Baste once at this juncture. You won't need to baste it again unless you want to. The turkey won't care as it has oil under it's skin to keep it very moist and juice. Cook until done, remove from oven, and then let rest for at least 20 minutes. Remove all the veggies inside the turkey and discard. The bird will keep cooking, and the juices will be sealed inside the turkey while it rests.

Then carve and eat.

Tomorrow, stuffing.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. That sounds amazing. I'm not cooking this year, but I want to try that!

12/11/07 3:00 PM  
Anonymous bethany actually said...

Ooh, I can't wait to try this! Might not be till Christmas when I do, but I will definitely let you know how it goes. Thanks for sharing!

14/11/07 2:23 AM  

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