A few years ago I decided to make a turkey my way. Only thing was, I didn’t have a “my way”. So it was time to come up with a “my way”. Believe me when I say I knew I might be cooking a turkey fit only for the wild critters I feed outdoors but that was a risk I was willing to take. Gotta start somewhere.
This is now my way. Surprisingly after that first Thanksgiving dinner where I made the turkey my way, I was asked for the recipe. I explained I didn’t have a recipe I just whipped this up using spices and things I like and thought would work.
So as luck would have it the turkey turned out lip smack’n good and I continue make my turkeys the same way, unaltered to this day, and continue to get requests for the recipe. So I guess now one could now say I have a recipe.
Here’s what that first turkey looked like.
Click on the picture for a larger view.
This is not from a recipe, this is what I did.
Parsley 1/2 fresh bunch – cut off lower stems
Celery – top leafy thin ribs with leaves from one stalk (not from one rib , stalk is the whole head)
Onion – 1/4 small yellow onion
Bay leafs – fresh 3-4 leafs
Rosemary – fresh if possible 4-5 sprigs or 1-2 tsp dry
Thyme – fresh if possible 4-5 sprigs or 1-2 tsp dry
Garlic cloves – 3-4 cloves
Extra Virgin Olive oil – 1/4 to 1/3 cup
2 Tbsp butter – cut into pads
Salt (Salt mill medium to coarse ground)
Pepper (Pepper mill medium to coarse ground)
Did I mention his is not from a recipe, this is what I did?
Liberally salt and pepper outside of turkey now before mixing the puree so it can be absorbed and rub salt on all interior cavities.
Place all items except butter in food processor and blend until a smooth puree.
Add butter pads and continue blending until once again a smooth puree. (Do not melt butter.)
With hands, smooth puree over entire turkey skin and under skin where possible covering all areas multiple times including interior cavity. (It may look green now but won’t when fully cooked so don’t worry.)
Salt and pepper outside of turkey again.
Take remaining parsley, 1/2 the reamaining celery stalks, 4 carrots pealed (celery & carrots cut to 3-4″ lengths), and the rest of the chopped onion and place in interior cavity. Use a piece of aluminum foil to cover the hole to keep everything in. (This is not stuffing nor meant to be eaten, it is to add flavor and be basted to distribute that flavor.)
Place on rack in roasting pan and add 1-2 quarts of chicken stock in roast pan, try not to submerge bottom of turkey.
When baking, flip turkey half way through to brown top and bottom.
Once skin is browned baste turkey inside flooding the vegetables and outside with juices from bottom of roasting pan every 30 to 45 minutes, at least 3 times before done, really flooding the turkey each time.
This recipe was for what might be considered a small turkey, 12-14lbs. range. You may have to increase the ingredient amounts accordingly for larger turkeys including the amount of parsley, celery, carrots, and onion placed in the interior cavity, fill it up if you can.