Tuesday, November 25, 2008

'COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS' ~ ROAST TURKEY with HERB BUTTER & CARAMELIZED ONION GRAVY / WILD RICE DRESSING with APPLES & CHESTNUTS

"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings."

ROAST TURKEY with HERB BUTTER & CARAMELIZED ONION GRAVY
~ Delicious, easy and rich favorite bird
(adapted from Bon Appetit-Nov 2002)
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Onion Base for Gravy:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 large thinly sliced onions
1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. honey
Turkey:
6 Tbsp. (3/4) stick room temperature butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 21-22 lb. turkey
1 large quartered onion
3 1/2 cup organic chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
2 large fresh rosemary sprigs
2 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Gravy Base: Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until deep brown, about 40 minutes. Mix in rosemary and thyme, then flour; stir 1 minute. Add vinegar and honey; simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. (Can make ahead 1 day. Cover and chill.)
  • Turkey: Mix butter and herbs in small bowl. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry. Place on rack in large roasting pan. Sprinkle inside and out with salt & freshly ground pepper. Starting with neck end, slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin. Spread 1/4 cup herb butter over breast meat under skin. Rub remaining butter over outside of turkey. Place turkey parts and onion quarters in pan around turkey. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
  • Set rack in lowest position in oven and preheat to 350-degrees. If stuffing turkey, spoon stuffing loosely into main cavity and neck cavity. Tuck wing tips under; the legs together loosely to hold shape. Roast turkey uncovered 1 hour. Tent turkey breast and tops of drumsticks loosely with foil; roast 1 hour longer. Add 1 cup wine (or broth), herb sprigs, and bay leaf to drippings in pan. Continue to roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175-degrees, basting with 3/4 cup broth and pan juices every 30 minutes, about 2 hours 30 minutes longer for unstuffed and 3 hours longer for stuffed. Transfer turkey to platter; let stand 30 minutes (internal temperature will increase 5-10 degrees.)
  • Strain pan juices into 8-cup measuring cup; spoon fat off top. Heat gravy base over medium heat. Whisk in flour, then pan juices. Boil until gravy is reduced to 7 cups, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Serve turkey with gravy. (14 servings)
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WILD RICE DRESSING with APPLES & CHESTNUTS

~ A delightful change from traditional dressing and easily doubled for more hungry guests or if stuffing turkey.

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1 cup wild rice

1 (7.25 oz. jar peeled whole chestnuts, halved)

1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casing removed and crumbled

1 large chopped Spanish or sweet onion

1 chopped red pepper

2 unpeeled, 1/2-inch cubed tart apples (e.g. Granny Smith)

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (2 1/2 tsp. dried)

1 cup organic chicken broth

coarse salt & freshly ground pepper

  • Cook wild rice in large saucepan of salted boiling water until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain.
  • Combine cooked rice, chestnuts, and parsley in large bowl.
  • Saute sausage and onion until meat is browned and cooked through, stirring frequently breaking up meat with fork. Drain excess grease and add olive oil. Add red pepper, apples and thyme and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in chicken broth, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Pour sausage mixture over rice and stir to combine. Season with salt & pepper. (At this point, either continue or cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
  • Butter 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Transfer mixture into dish and bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. (8 servings)

Wine suggestion: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.

Note: Click for last year's MAPLE GLAZED TURKEY, CRANBERRY BOURBON RELISH and WILD RICE DRESSING with ROASTED GRAPES, APPLES & CHESTNUTS.

4 comments:

marmee said...

love your single pumpkin with blue in the background. dh cooks our turkey and i season it. we will feast and have fun together. i hope you an your family enjoys.

joey said...

As yours, Marmee, and thank you. It's all about food, family and feast!

nancybond said...

Both of those recipes sound delicious, and the gravy base is different than what I use. I just may give that a try this Christmas. Your pumpkin is so cute. :) Happy Thanksgiving, Joey!

joey said...

Hi Nancy and thank you ... a great feast day for sure, although we are a 'feasting family' year round ;) Check out my note on last year's Maple Glazed Turkey also ... the roasted grape dressing was devine! I do my turkey and dressing different each year and have so many favorites ... guess we need more holidays!