"There is one extraordinary ingredient that goes into everything I cook and bake. Please, do not forget this ingredient for it is important to all recipes. When I am cooking or baking, I add extra spoonful's of love to all my recipes. Love added to all things good makes them just a little bit better."
Can we talk Turkey! Sure you can prepare a wonderful turkey swelled with a fattening stuffing layered with salt, and infused with salty soup broths. Or you can make it a healthier one; that will be enjoyed for days and years to come. The choice is your but I and my customers prefer this recipe.
1, 16 pound young turkey, preferably fresh or frozen and thawed
3-4 tablespoons butter or canola based butter spread
5 cups 100% unsweetened apple juice or apple cider (put one cup aside for basting)
½ teaspoon basil (1 teaspoon finely chopped and diced if fresh)
1 teaspoon ground celery seed
1 teaspoon parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped and diced)
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 or more teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Gala Rome or Jonathon Apples, washed sliced and pitted
2-3 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 small red or Vidalia onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon of parsley or 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
1 teaspoon of dill
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 healthy pinches of basil
The Gravy (about 2.5 cups)
3-4 tablespoons pan drippings
1 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
2-3 slightly rounded tablespoons flour or cornstarch
1. To prepare the turkey first removing the bag or neck and giblets from the cavity and wash the inside and outside of the bird thoroughly with cool water. If you need to loosen the legs from the clamp, gently push down on the legs and they will slip right out of the clamp.
2. Once the turkey is washed prepare the stuffing in a bowl, mix it thoroughly together and then using a large spoon stuff the cavity of the Turkey.
3. Place the turkey on the roasting rack inside of the pan, fill the cavity with the prepared dressing and reset the legs in the clamp.
4. Mix together the butter, herbs, garlic and 1 cup of apple juice. Rub this all over the turkey; including the legs, wings and thighs. Salt and pepper the top and sides, fill the bottom of the pan with 2 cups of juice and some water until the liquid reaches 1/2 inch high along the sides of the pan. Add the turkey pieces previously removed from the cavity to the liquid. Put the rack in place and then the turkey on the rack; cover the turkey and pan with a loose tent made from tin foil and place in the oven to roast.
5. Baste the turkey about once every half hour or so. While basting, pour the remaining juice all over the turkey after 2-3 hours in the oven for added moisture.
6. Remove the tin foil about 30-45 minutes before the turkey has finished roasting; allowing the top to brown. You will know when the turkey has finished roasting when the thermometer pops up and/or reads 175-185 degrees, Fahrenheit or when the juices run clear when poked with a fork. It will take approximately 3.5-4.5 hours for a 16 lb. stuffed bird, 3-4 hours if not stuffed (depending on your oven).
7. Remove the pan from the oven. Allow the bird to cool for a few minutes before removing it from the rack and placing it onto a plate to be carved. Spoon the dressing into a bowl before carving or place the dressing in a pan, drizzle it with 2-3 tablespoons of the drippings and place it into the oven to keep warm.
8. Prepare the gravy. Remove about 4 tablespoons of the drippings from the pan and put into a large cup. Add 1 cup chicken broth and 2-3 slightly rounded tablespoons flour (or cornstarch) and whisk vigorously breaking up any lumps, then add this to the dripping in the pan and whisk continuously over medium heat until the gravy thickens and no lumps remain. Pour gravy into a gravy bowl, or keep warm in the roasting pan over low heat.