Thanksgiving is a very special occasion because the entire family comes together to celebrate the occasion. This occasion just like any other festive occasion is very colorful and lot of merry making goes on within the families.
And when it comes to the food dishes, thanksgiving has some signature recipes, which are especially cooked during the thanksgiving. And whenever we think of thanksgiving food dishes, the first thing that comes to our mind is a beautiful golden brown roasted turkey.
A moist and juicy roasted turkey is the real attraction of a thanksgiving party. So, if you want to cook your turkey perfectly this year, you may definitely follow this recipe.
Difficulty Level: Medium
Servings Per Recipe: 18-20
Time Required For Preparation: 5 days
Time Required For Cooking: 4 hours
1 roasting pan
1 kitchen shear
1 meat thermometer
1 baking pan
1 turkey baster
1 aluminum roasting tray
1 12lb. turkey
2 large onions, peeled and cut
5-6 large carrots, sliced into large pieces
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
2 large onions, quartered
2 large heads of garlic
6-7 stalk of celery, cut into large pieces
1 ½ stick of butter
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
7-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
6-7 sprigs of fresh rosemary
6-7 sprigs of fresh sage
2 cups of low sodium chicken stock
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Method Of Preparation
1.To start the preparation, you will have to thaw the turkey for several days if you plan to use a frosted turkey. But you should not thaw it at room temperature. The turkey must be defrosted first in the refrigerator before taking it out.
To thaw a 12 lb. turkey, you will need to keep it in the refrigerator for 4 days. Once the turkey is thawed, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 1- 1 ½ hours. Once the turkey comes to the room temperature, cut its wrapper with a kitchen shear and then place the turkey on a baking pan so that the oozing out juices from the turkey may drain into the pan instead of messing up your working table.
2. Then place the turkey under water to rinse it roughly and then take out all the giblets and the turkey neck from the turkey. You may reserve those for making giblet gravy or turkey soup. Now open up the neck region of your turkey and insert your hand through it to remove any more impurities that may be stored inside.
Once you have taken out all the unwanted things, place the turkey vertically straight on the baking pan and then rinse it inside-out to get rid of all the liquid that may be still remaining inside the turkey. Once done, dry the turkey very nicely by patting it dry with paper towels and then place it on your working table.
3. Place the turkey breast-side up and then slowly loosen the skin by inserting your palms underneath the turkey skin. Be very careful while doing that because you must not puncture the skin with your fingers. Next, cut off and discard any plastic holders or strings that you may find in the turkey. Then take a bowl and put some softened butter in it.
Add 3-4 generous pinches of salt and black pepper to the butter and then mix them up all together. Then take 3-4 sprigs of thyme, 2-3 sprigs of rosemary and 2-3 sprigs of sage and pull out the leaves from the sprigs. Assemble all the leaves in a pile and then chop them very finely. Once done, add the chopped herbs and the grated garlic to the salted butter mixture and stir to combine everything very nicely.
4. Now preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the upper racks to make space for the roasting pan. Then take the turkey and insert maximum of the butter mixture beneath the skin of the turkey. Press down the mixture a bit as you try to insert it. Then rub the rest of the turkey with the remaining herbed butter mixture.
Make sure that you rub the inner cavity of the turkey with the herbed butter. Next, take 2 large onions and cut them in quarters. Peel off their skin and then insert them into the turkey. Then cut the carrots in large chunks and insert them as well. Then peel 3-4 cloves of garlic and insert them into the turkey cavity. Finally, cut 1-2 stalks of celery into large chunks and push the chunks into the cavity of the turkey. Push-in the remaining herb sprigs.
5. Once the turkey is stuffed with the vegetables, simply tie the legs with kitchen twine and then tuck the wings beneath the turkey. You may also tie the upper portion of the turkey to keep the wings in place. Once the turkey is ready, cut the rest of the vegetables in large pieces and then put them into the aluminum roasting tray.
Place the aluminum roasting tray in a roasting pan and then top the vegetables with the chicken stock. Finally, place the turkey over the vegetables and then insert the roasting pan into the preheated oven. Place the pan on the bottom rack of the oven and let the turkey roast for 4 hours.
6. Baste the turkey after every 30 minutes to keep it moist. For that, suck up some of the chicken stock with the help of the baster from beneath the turkey and spread it all over the turkey. Repeat the process after every 30 minutes and let the turkey cook until the indicator thermometer provided with the turkey pops out. Other than that, insert a meat thermometer at the deepest part of the turkey and if it registers 185 degrees then you can be sure that your turkey is perfectly cooked.
7. Once the turkey is perfectly browned and cooked, take it out of the oven and cover it up with aluminum foils. Then put a kitchen towel on top to keep the turkey moist and warm. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes and then remove the coverings to serve it. Carve the turkey properly and then drizzle the cooking liquid all over the carved turkey pieces. Finally, serve the carved turkey with the soft onion wedges.