Brined, Herb Roasted Turkey – Emeril Style
In a prior post, I was talking about the Emeril recipes that I make at Thanksgiving each year and the best one is the turkey. No fancy deep fat frying, cooking in a bag, or stuffing inside the turkey, just good old fashion ingredients like oranges, lemons, thyme, rosemary, and onions.
This is by far the best recipe for turkey, why? Because you can taste the citrus, the herbs, and the onions in every bite of the turkey.
This one takes a little effort because you are soaking (brining) the turkey overnight in salt water and brown sugar, and creating gravy from the pan drippings – but you can do it. I put the turkey in a cooking bag and put it in the sink, then covered it in ice so it would not go bad overnight (sitting out).
The gravy is also amazing. This year I did not boil down the guts, just the neck and used it as the base. Read through this carefully, and think about what you have to do before you execute this recipe.
In this picture, I discarded the herbs, oranges, lemons, and onions that were stuffed inside. If you go to Emeril’s site (link below) he arranged some of the ingredients he pulled out of the turkey on the serving platter. Looks nice that way too.
Here you go!
Links to Emerils recipe
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2007
Show: Emeril Live
Episode: Ultimate Thanksgiving
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary 1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey
1 large orange, cut into 1/8ths
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
Salt and pepper
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/8ths
1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 bunch sage
3 or 4 sprigs parsley
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, for basting
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Reserved turkey neck and giblets
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 small bay leaf
3 cups turkey stock, chicken stock, or canned low-salt chicken broth
3 cups water
4 cups turkey broth
1 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Brine:
To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a nonreactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, food grade plastic storage bag). Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary. Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water. Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey and reserve for the gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water.
Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels both inside and out. Place turkey, breast side up, in a large, heavy roasting pan. Rub breast side with orange segments and rub on all sides with the butter, stuffing some underneath the skin. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, remaining orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string. Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven, turn, and baste with 1/2 cup stock. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking time. Baste the turkey once every hour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock.
Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
For the turkey broth:
NOTE: Do this step the night before, so your turkey broth is ready the next day.
Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the turkey neck, heart, and gizzard to the pan and saute until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add the chopped vegetables and bay leaf to the pan and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Pour the stock and 3 cups of water into the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the stock is reduced to 4 cups, about 1 hour, adding the chopped liver to the pan during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Strain the stock into a clean pot or large measuring cup. Pull the meat off the neck, chop the neck meat and giblets, and set aside.
For the pan gravy:
Pour the reserved turkey pan juices into a glass-measuring cup and skim off the fat.
Place the roasting pan on 2 stovetop burners over medium heat add the pan juice and 1 cup turkey broth and the white wine to the pan, and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining 3 cup of broth and bring to a simmer, then transfer to a measuring cup. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux. Add the hot stock, whisking constantly, then simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Add the reserved neck meat and giblets to the pan and adjust seasoning, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Pour into a gravy boat and serve.
Slice and serve guests with desired sides.
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