Traditionally Thanksgiving dinner is centered
around a large, beautiful turkey accompanied by stuffing,
mashed potatoes, and an array of savory sides. It seems as
if each year we all try and create the turkey of all turkeys.
The ultimate goal: a moist, flavorful bird that melts in your
mouth. There are many different methods and recipes to achieve
this succulent result; however starting off with a great turkey
is the first step to ultimate success. There are many turkeys
on the market that are injected with an array of solutions
to make the bird more "juicy". The unfortunate thing
about these solutions is that they are, most often, not gluten-free.
The good news is that choosing a free range turkey or a natural
turkey (one void of these injection solutions), actually can
be more plump, more juicy and all around better for you
and they are gluten-free (as always we recommend verifying
that the turkey you choose is indeed gluten-free)! Once you
have chosen your turkey you must decide how to prepare it.
This year our Glutenfreeda.com chefs created two spectacular
turkeys prepared in two distinctly different ways.
#1: Plum-Glazed Roast Turkey
Our first turkey starts off with a brine
solution. The turkey is placed in a large container and covered
with a mixture of salt and water and soaked in the refrigerator
overnight. This brining process adds moisture to the meat
and helps create that juicy bird that is so desired. After
the brining process the turkey is rinsed and patted dry. The
turkey is then basted with melted butter and roasted for about
30 minutes at 425°F. This initial high roasting temperature
locks in the moisture. While the turkey is roasting a glaze
of plum jam, Chinese five spice powder and peppercorns is
simmered on the stove-top. After 30 minutes of roasting the
oven temperature is lowered to 350°. At this point the
turkey is basted every 30 minutes with the pan drippings and
extra melted butter (if needed). During the last hour of roasting
time, the turkey is basted with the aromatic plum glaze. This
glaze not only creates a beautiful color but adds an amazing
sweet and spicy taste to the outside of the bird. The end
result a beautiful turkey with amazing taste! A must
try! (For the complete recipe for this turkey please go to
our recipe for Plum-Glazed
#2: Roast Turkey with Prosciutto Hazelnut Butter
Our second turkey utilizes flavorful prosciutto
hazelnut butter as self baster as well as a way to flavor
the turkey meat as it cooks. The prosciutto hazelnut butter
is spread under the skin of the turkey, as well all over the
outside of the bird. The turkey is stuffed with onions, tarragon,
thyme, garlic and black peppercorns. This stuffing is meant
to permeate the meat as it cooks not necessarily to
be eaten as a stuffing. After roasting this bird
is a beautiful golden brown with an incredible juicy interior.
One of the best parts about this turkey is the gravy. Unlike
traditional gravies where a plain roux is made and then added
to the pan drippings along with a broth this gravy
starts with browning the neck, heart, and gizzard with shallots,
bay leaf and a couple of tablespoons of the prosciutto hazelnut
butter. It is then simmered down with white wine, herbs and
broth. The gravy base is then strained and added to the pan
juices. A roux is created, not with plain butter, but with
the prosciutto hazelnut butter and gf flour. The gravy base
is then added to the prosciutto hazelnut mixture to create
an incredibly, delicious gravy. This is one of those turkeys
that will surely become a family favorite! (For the complete
recipe for this turkey please go to our recipe for Roast Turkey
with Prosciutto Hazelnut Butter.)
Great Turkey Tips:
As you prepare your turkey this year, regardless
of the method or recipe you use, weve provided some
helpful tips to answer any of your last minute questions:
- Allow 3/4 pound per serving or 1 pound
per serving if you want leftovers.
- If using a frozen turkey, start thawing
it in a pan in the refrigerator 3-4 days prior to roasting.
Oven Roasted Turkey Cooking Times:
Turkey Weight with Giblets
1-1/2 to 2-1/4 hr.
3 to 3-3/4 hr.
3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hr.
*Measure the internal temperature of the
turkey by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of
the breast towards the bone (be careful not to touch the bone).
How to carve your turkey:
Step 1: Pull the wing away from the
body to reveal the joint. Cut down the center of the joint
between the connecting bones to remove the wing.
Step 2: Pull the leg (thigh and drumstick)
away from the body until you see the hip joint. Cut through
the surrounding meat and then through the hip joint between
the connecting bones. Cut the thigh and drumstick apart. Slice
the meat off the thigh parallel to the bone.
Step 3: With a long knife, make a
deep horizontal cut along the bottom of the breast starting
at the wing joint. Then angle the blade upward, following
the bone, to the base of the breastbone.
Step 4: Insert a carving knife into
the top of the breast pointing down towards the cutting board,
and starting at the outer edge, cut thin slices, parallel
to the breastbone, down to the base to cut.
Glutenfreeda.com wishes you and your
family a very happy Thanksgiving!