Roasting a Turkey is key to making your Thanksgiving a perfect Thanksgiving. Chef Anna Olson knows how to the roast the perfect turkey, and now she is going to show you how! Follow along with the recipe below and you will be in turkey heaven in no time!
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1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme
Salt and black pepper
1 leek, white and light green parts only, washed and sliced
16 lb (6.75 kg) fresh whole turkey
2 Tbsp (30 g) butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
6 cups (1.5 L) diced day-old crusty bread (crusts left on), cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh sage
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup (250 mL) Caramelized Onions
1/2 cup (35 g) diced dried apples
2 oz (60 mL) dry white vermouth
1⁄3 cup (50 g) all-purpose flour
3 cups (750 mL) chicken or turkey stock (including strained pan juices)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 12-cup (3 L) baking dish with butter.
2. Place the diced bread in a large bowl. Whisk the stock, egg, sage and salt together and pour over the bread. Add the caramelized onions and apples and toss well, giving the bread a few minutes to soak up the liquid.
3. Transfer the dressing to the prepared pan and dot the top with butter. Lightly cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is a rich golden brown.
4. Let the dressing cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Turkey and Gravy
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
2. Stir the butter with the thyme and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. Arrange the sliced leeks in the center of a large roasting pan and place the turkey on top. Spoon the dressing into the cavity of the turkey. Pat the skin dry with a paper towel and rub the thyme butter over the entire surface of the bird, finishing with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
3. Cook the turkey, uncovered and basting it every 20 minutes or so (more often as the turkey gets closer to being done), for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check whether it is done: the recommended temperatures are 170°F (77°C) in the breast, 180°F (82°C) in the thigh and 165°F (74°C) in the center of the stuffing.
4. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board or platter to rest uncovered for 20 minutes while you prepare the gravy and bring your other dishes to the table.
5. To make the gravy, strain the drippings from the roasting pan through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Separate the fat from the pan juices using a gravy-separating pitcher or by skimming off the fat that floats to the top with a baster or a spoon. Reserve both the fat and the pan juices (add the pan juices to your stock measurement).
6. Discard the leeks if they are scorched; if they are not, reserve them to add back to the gravy at the end, if you wish.
7. Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat and add the vermouth, using a wooden spoon to loosen the caramelized bits at the bottom of the pan. Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the pan drippings and the flour, continuing to stir over medium heat until a nutty aroma develops, about 4 minutes (for a darker gravy, let the flour turn light brown, an extra 2 minutes).
8. Switch to a whisk and slowly pour in 1 cup (250 mL) of the stock while whisking continuously. As soon as the gravy thickens, whisk in another 1 cup (250 mL). Once the gravy thickens again and begins to bubble, whisk in the remaining 1 cup (250 mL) of stock in a slow steady stream and let it reach a full simmer before adding the reserved leeks (if using) and seasoning to taste.
9. To serve, carve the turkey into slices, and serve with the stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce.
Recipe from Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson, Appetite by Random House, 2018
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