Thanksgiving Turkey

My Three Favorite Turkey Recipes!

Gobble Until You Wobble!

So, reality is that you can serve me Thanksgiving dinner on an old hat, and I’d still be happy because let’s face it, after family, it’s all about the food!

After Chris and I were married, we moved a few states away from all our family, and since we couldn’t make it home very often on a students budget, I had to cook my first Turkey dinner when I was only 20. That was rather overwhelming, and I’ve learned a lot since then but if I could do it then, than you can definitely now!

It’s ALL About the Turkey!

What is Thanksgiving Dinner without a fabulous Turkey!? A couple of years ago, I decided to go all out and try a gourmet Turkey recipe from Wolfgang Puck. My family still talks about that Turkey to this day! At this point it’s so legendary that if I were able to make the exact same Turkey, I’m sure they would tell me that it wasn’t as good as my first, because nothing can come close to all of our memories of that bird!

My friend asked me for a Yummy and Easy Turkey recipe, so I decided I’m going to share 3 Turkey recipes with you which are all fabulous, even though they demand a varying amount of effort and finesse!

My really ‘good’  Turkey was made by injecting the bird with Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning. I LOVE the seasoning known at our house by simply ‘Tony’s.’ I even gave it away at my Favorite Things party! So when I saw a bottle of the seasoning ready as an Injectable Marinade with an Injecting Syringe, I was sold! This picture is of the Original Seasoning, but you can find the Marinade  in the Seasonings aisle at your favorite store.

Creole Style Butter Turkey

1 Reynolds Oven Bag

1 12-24 lb Turkey

1 Bottle Creole Style Butter Injectable Marinade from Tony Chachere’s

1 T Flour

3 stalks celery, sliced

2 medium onion, sliced

Butter, melted

Tony Chachere’s Original Seasoning

Preheat Oven to 350. Shake flour in Reynolds bag, and place in roasting pan at least 2″deep. Add vegetables to oven bag. Remove neck and giblets from Turkey. Rinse turkey, and pat dry. Inject Turkey with Marinade as directed on bottle. Brush turkey with melted butter, and sprinkle Tony’s Seasoning all over Turkey. Place Turkey in oven bag on top of vegetables.

Close oven bag with nylon tie, cut six 1/2″ slits in top. Insert meat thermometer in Turkey through slit into the thickest part of inner thigh, not touching the bone. Tuck ends of the bag into the pan.

Bake about 10 minutes for every lb of Turkey (12-16 lbs = 2- 2 1/2 hours) (16-20 lbs = 2 1/2- 3 hours) (20-24 lbs = 3- 3 1/2 hours) or until meat thermometer reads 180 F.

Let stand in oven bag for 15 minutes.

(Save juices in bottom of bag for Gravy!!)

My second Turkey recipe was taken from Food Network. Alton Brown’s Good Eats is one of my favorite cooking shows, and he is a bit of a culinary genius! His recipe for Roast Turkey is the most popular on Food Network and probably other sites as well. It’s pretty easy and SO yummy!! So here is his recipe…

Alton Brown’s Turkey

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Canola oil

Directions

Click here to see how it’s done.

2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

Here is the grand daddy most amazing Turkey recipe from the master himself, Wolfgang Puck

It’s not the easiest or least time consuming recipe but it is pretty amazing! And even if you don’t make this Turkey, this includes my favorite Pan Gravy!

Brined Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy

Ingredients

Brine:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 ounce ground cloves
  • 1/2 ounce ground ginger
  • 4 ounces cracked black peppercorns
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 1 pound kosher salt
  • 24 ounces honey
  • 24 ounces maple syrup
  • 1 (10-pound) whole fresh turkey, giblets and neck removed and reserved for stock
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 apples, quartered and cored
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • rosemary sprigs
  • 3 sprigs sage
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 cup cubed carrots
  • 1 cup cubed celery
  • 1 cup cubed onions
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine
  • 4 cups turkey stock, recipe follows
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • Beurre manie (2 ounces butter mixed with 2 ounces flour until it forms a soft dough)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

In a large stockpot, bring the water, cloves, ginger, black peppercorn, bay leaves and salt to a boil. Lower to a simmer and stir in the honey and maple syrup until well blended. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

 Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold tap water. Reserve the neck and specialty meats for pan gravy. Set the turkey in the brine, making sure that the turkey is fully immersed in the brine. Place a weight on top of the turkey to make sure it is always covered with brine. Marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight, depending on the weight of the turkey, in the refrigerator.

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

 In a shallow roasting pan, place the carrots, celery and onions. Remove turkey from brine.

Mix together the butter, garlic, chopped rosemary, and sage to make a compound butter. Using your hands, loosen to the skin from the breast by gently inserting your fingers between the skin and the flesh. Rub the compound butter underneath the skin. Insert the apples, onions, and whole rosemary and sage into the cavity of the turkey.

 Place the turkey over the vegetables, breast-side up, in the roasting pan. Tuck the wings back and under the turkey. Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together. This will make a compact shape and will create a great presentation. Drizzle the turkey with olive oil and rub it into the skin. Roast the turkey to at least 165 degrees F in the breast, about 2 1/2 hours. If the skin gets too dark during roasting, tent with foil.

 Transfer turkey to a platter and allow to cool. Meanwhile, prepare the pan gravy.

Tilt the pan and skim as much fat as possible off the juice with a spoon. Set the pan on 2 burners set on medium heat. Deglaze roasting pan with white wine and Madeira. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits. Reduce until only a quarter remains. Add the turkey stock, thyme and parsley. Bring to a boil and strain into a saucepan. Bring back to a boil, skim and lower to a simmer. Whisk in the beurre manie until well incorporated and continue to cook until gravy has thickened. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Turkey Stock:

  • Giblets and neck from 1 turkey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup port wine
  • 1 cup roughly chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped celery
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 5 peppercorns
  • Water, to cover

Heat a saucepan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and heat. Add the neck and giblets and cook until browned all over, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and deglaze with the port. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the port is almost completely evaporated, about 10 minutes.

 Add the carrots, onions, celery, rosemary and peppercorns. Cover with cold water by 4-inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer for 2 hours, adding a little more water, if necessary. Skimany scum that rises to the surface of the stock and discard.

 Strain the stock. Use immediately, or cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

These days, my Turkey has evolved to include elements and techniques from all three of these Amazing recipes!

So now that you have the recipes, remember not to stress too much and enjoy the process of cooking for and enjoying a wonderful meal with your families! That’s the real reason we stress and put all this effort into our Thanksgiving meals. FAMILY!

 And this is my cute and quirky and amazing family last Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Turkey

Add yours

  1. Heidi, I made the easy verision of the turkey with Tony’s and it turned out SO GOOD! I also made the Sweet Potatos and they were awesome too! Thank you Gala Gals

  2. I found your recipe using Tony’s so I’m trying it for my first time doing our family’s Thanksgiving Turkey. I’m excited!

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