With mom in town for Thanksgiving this year, I decided to cook turkey for the first time. At first we were thinking of cooking it “Thai-style”, with lemongrass, kaffir lime, etc. We then changed our mind as we wanted to do it the the “traditional” way with stuffing and all from scratch. After browsing through a few recipes on the internet, I combined a few things from here and there, adapted recipe to ingredients that we like and were available at home, and came up with my own version.
ROAST TURKEY WITH MUSHROOM STUFFING AND GRAVY
- 1 10-lb frozen young turkey
For the Brine (adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe on foodnetwork.com):
- 1 cup salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- about 1L low-sodium chicken stock (1 regular-sized carton)
- 2 tablespoons sage
- iced water
Combine the first 4 ingredients on the stove. Once salt and sugar dissolve let the mixture cool to room temperature. Place thawed turkey in a bucket with the brine mixture and iced water. Make sure there is enough liquid to keep the turkey submerged. Refrigerate for 10 hours. Once done, discard the brine and rinse the turkey thoroughly. Preheat the oven to 500°F while you prepare stuffing.
For the stuffing
- 1/2 cup chopped garlic
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1/2 baguette (chopped in food processor)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms – used portobello, any mushrooms should do
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons sage
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg (optional)
Heat the oil and add garlic, celery and onions. Stir until they start to brown and add half the chicken stock. Add mushroom and chopped baguette. At this point you can add the rest or some of chicken stock, depending on your desired consistency. Stir in the herbs and add salt and pepper to taste. At this point you can stir in the egg if you like. Let the stuffing cool a bit and add to the turkey. I only put half of the stuffing in the 10-lb young turkey.
Roasting the turkey
Put coarsely chopped onions and celery on the roasting pan. Place turkey on a rack in the pan. Brush turkey skin with olive oil, spinkle salt, pepper and some sage. Roast at 500°F for 30 minutes without lid to ensure the skin brown properly. Lower the heat to 350 °F, put on the lid and roast for another 1 hour and a half to 2 hours. This depends on the oven. You want the inside temperature of turkey to reach 160 °F to make sure the turkey is thoroughly cooked (unlike beef, medium-rare poultry isn’t all that appealing…). Once done take the turkey out and let sit for 15 minutes.
For the gravy:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-2 cups chicken stock – depending on amount of pan drippings and desired consistency
- pan drippings from roast turkey
- Black pepper
Take the drippings from roast turkey pan, strain and remove fat on the top layer. Mix butter and flour on stove and stir until brown. Add dripping and keep stirring. Add chicken stock and black pepper. Whisk constantly until the gravy is smooth and thickened. Keep warm until served.
The turkey turned out really tender and flavourful. The stuffing and gravy also went quite well with garlic mashed potato and grilled portobello mushroom. Happy Thanksgiving 2014!