“I am thankful for everything that I have and especially for the things I don’t have.” You must be wondering why I am thankful for the things I don’t have….I believe that everything happens for a reason, maybe that why I am what I am now.
To tell about the roast turkey….I never knew I would be able to take a picture and that would come out so nice, even though it’s only one picture that I liked out of so few more pictures, so I decided to keep only one in this post. We decided to have a get together potluck for thanksgiving dinner and this is the first year Anush wanted me to make turkey. So I took the part of making turkey and gravy which I never did before and didn’t have any idea of how to roast a turkey. I did make brown gravy with chicken stock, so I was not much nervous, but still I wanted to make my own stock out of the pieces of turkey that we won’t be eating, so it was bit of work, but worth making it, as it was the tastiest gravy I ever had, everyone liked it as well.
We decided to buy fresh turkey from MSU (Michigan State University) Meat Lab, which is considered to be grass fed and nice, but we didn’t have a choice to decide on how big turkey we needed, as there was limited turkey’s they would sell and just had to tell them that we needed the smallest one.
To my shock we got a 18 lb turkey. We got it home on Tuesday and from that day, whenever I open the fridge I was so terrified and nervous about cooking a big turkey like that. I have not seen such a big bird in my life so close. So I started browsing for recipes and videos from Alton Brown, America’s Test Kitchen, cooking shows in food network etc etc.,The more I saw and googled I was so confused and more tensed.
The day before I wanted told H to cut the back bone and the wing park to use it for stock and brine with salt and sugar water, the rest of the bird mainly the body part. I made stock and stored in fridge, to make gravy the next day with the drippings.
I came to know that each pound of turkey should be cooked for 15 minutes. As ours was 18 lb turkey I had to cook for 4 1/2 hours at 350F, excluding the first 30 minutes 500F searing time.
I applied homemade herb butter all over the turkey and then roasted. The bird cooked in 4 hours according to the thermometer and temperature. It was well cooked and perfectly roasted on top.
Seeing the end result I was so happy everyone liked it, especially the gravy made with the turkey stock and the dripping was really a winner.
- 1 Whole Turkey (ours was a 18lb Turkey)
- Water as needed
- 1 box Chicken Stock
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Stick Butter
- 1 box Rosemerry
- 1 box Thyme
- 1 box Sage
- 1 Whole Garlic
- 1 Bunch Parsley roughly chopped
- 2 Carrots roughly cubed
- 1 Onion roughly cubed
- 4 Sticks Celery roughly cubed
- 1 tbsp Whole Black Peppercorns
- 1 tbsp Whole AllSpice Seeds
- 4-5 Tbsp Flour
- If using frozen thaw it well in refrigerator as needed, it might take a minimum of two days. We didn't have to do this as wen used fresh turkey.
- Cut the back bone of the turkey turning it backside.
- Cut the wings.
- In a pressure cooker add parsley, chicken stock, carrot, onion, celery, black peppercorns and all spice.
- Pressure cook it on high until you get one whistle, then reduce the flame to medium low cook it for about 20 - 30 mins.
- Off the flame and let it release the pressure on it's own.
- After you open the cooker, strain the liquid alone and store it in fridge.
- You need to brine the turkey for atleast 8 hours, mostly overnight.
- I wanted most of the body to be immersed in brine solutions.
- So take water as needed and dissolve equal parts of salt and sugar.
- Immerse the turkey and store it in fridge covered with plastic wrap.
- Remove the turkey from the brine solution. Pat it dry with paper towel making sure it has no water on it.
- As we cut the back bone, it was open we inserted some metal skewer type and tied it together.
- Then turn the turn top side and tied the legs together.
- Place it on a turkey rack, and tuck the turkey wings behind/below the body.
- We also stuffed a little onion, garlic, celery root, rosemary and thyme inside the bird.
- Now apply the herb butter all over the bird and under the skin as well.
- Place it on the roasting tray.
- Preheat the oven to 500 F.
- Insert a meat thermometer on the thickest part of the breast meat.
- Place the turkey in the lowest rack of the oven and roast it for about 30 minutes on 500 F.
- Now place an triangle shaped aluminium foil over the breast, so that it does not burn as it's the top most part of the turkey which is exposed to heat.
- Reduce the heat to 350 F and roast it for about 4 1/2 Hours. Make sure you don't open the oven,
- as the heat will escape and you might have to cook it longer.
- The breast meat should be reach a temperature of 165-167 F and the thigh should reach a temp of 170-180.
- Remove the fat on top of the prepared stock and add it to a heavy bottom sauce pan. We are using the turkey fat instead of butter or oil.
- When it's quite hot, add the flour and keep stirring making sure there are no lumps, once this mixture turns golden brown, add the prepared turkey stock and bring it to a boil, add also the drippings from the prepared turkey roasting pan.
- You can check on salt and pepper and add more as needed.
- Now cook it for about 10 minutes until the gravy gets thicker and to the consistency you wanted.
- Each lb of a turkey should be cooked for 15 minutes. Ours was a 18lb turkey so we had to cook for about 4 1/2 hours.
- This is excluding the first 30 minutes on high heat of 500 F.
- Make sure you don't add too much flour while making gravy. The proportion should be equal parts of butter/oil/fat to flour.