My good friend Rebecca was kind enough to provide an awesome set of photos and recipes for a guest post. Her brother (an extremely talented photographer) took all the shots and she made all of the food. Since there are so many photos and a large collection of recipes, I’ll only show the turkey recipe here and then I will be making her other submitted dishes as sides and I will feature them separately so she gets all the credit due her for this wealth of culinary information. Without further adieu, here’s becca:
Thanksgiving in my household was never really that big a deal when I was younger, of course there was the Macy’s parade in the morning, maybe some cinnamon buns and a light lunch in the afternoon and sure we spent it with family and friends, but it was not exactly the type of meal in which my mom wanted to be in the spotlight. Some years we ate at fancy-schmancy restaurants where I was required to tuck a napkin into the collar of my dress to keep from spilling, some years we went to family member’s houses where we ate whatever they made though not always kid friendly, and later toward the end of my parents marriage we celebrated the holiday at a family friends home who though having taken classes at CIA prepared a down to earth comforting meal that seemed so effortless to her that I decided it was time to give it a shot myself.
Now mind you, I live alone with the exception of my dog so rarely will you find me creating an entire meal suitable for a family gathering. My entire apartment could fit into my mother’s kitchen/family room so I knew with little doubt that I could make this come together. After a trip to Iovine in Philadelphia, and the contribution of a little 11 pound turkey from our local grocery store, here’s how I made what to some is the most stressful cooking day of the year a reality. The recipes listed here are not my own, they are stolen from the internet or attributed to common sense. They are frill-free, and pretty much idiot proof. I promise you with my hand to my heart that if I could pull this off, so can you. And so yes, this is late for this Thanksgiving’s usage, maybe the kind gentlemen at Zen and Potatoes will repost this when it’s actually relevant again, but in the meantime…Season’s Eatings!
For turkey carving instructions, watch this video from Chow.com
Herb Butter Rubbed Turkey
Herb Butter Rubbed Turkey is easy and a holiday staple. Check out the video for carving instructions.
- 1 - 10-12 pound turkey thawed if previously frozen, rinsed patted dry, reserve the neck and remove the giblets (possibly to modify Zen and Potatoes giblet pasta post!)
- 6 tablespoons of butter
- 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage.
- 5 large carrots halved crosswise
- 2 celery stalks halved crosswise
- 2 large onions cut into even wedges
- Salt and Pepper
- Heat your oven to 350’. Making sure your turkey is thawed and at room temperature, rinsed thoroughly and patted dry. Remove anything that looks foreign to the bird, so basically the bag of giblets and the neck.
- Prepare the herb butter by quite literally mashing the herbs into 4 of the tablespoons of butter, reserve the last 1-2 tablespoons for final preparation for the oven. Very gently loosen the skin of the turkey from the neck all the way to the breast. Be careful not to break the skin like I did or you’ll have to do some emergency surgery to repair it, thanks to my quick-on-her-feet mama for coming to the rescue and sewing up that bad boy. With the skin loosened, take the herb butter and rub it across the skin of the turkey.
- You can use the stuffing recipe listed below to actually stuff the bird at this point, however I made ours in an oven safe dish separate from the turkey. To prepare the roasting pan for the turkey, place the onions, celery, turkey neck and carrots at the bottom of the pan with 2 cups of water, place a rack overtop to rest the bird on.
- If you choose not to stuff the turkey, liberally grind salt and pepper both inside the cavity of the bird and all over the top, rub the remaining tablespoon or two of butter on the outside of the skin, very gently, delicately, but securely tie up the legs, tuck the wings and put the bird on the rack….tent with aluminum foil and you are ready to go.
- With the turkey in the oven, roast for an hour basting every 30 minute mark after with the liquids in the pan until the internal temperature reaches 125’. Remove the foil and turn the temperature up to 400’, continue roasting until the internal temperature at the thigh but without touching the bone reaches 180’. If the turkey browns too quickly, re-tent with foil.
- When finished, transfer turkey to a serving platter and let sit loosely tented for about 30 minutes before carving.