Monday, November 26

Thanksgiving Turkey

I'm finally back after a super relaxing and indulgent trip to Costa Rica and a whirlwind holiday week. My fiance and I drove up to my parents' house for Thanksgiving, arriving early so that I could help my mom make the meal. I was so excited about the turkey that I insisted on cooking a seventeen pound bird so that there would be tons of leftovers (recipes coming soon). This is the same recipe that we've been doing for years, and it comes out great every time. The skin gets crispy and slightly sticky-sweet from my the maple syrup, while the meat stays tender and juicy. It's the ultimate Thanksgiving turkey, although it makes a great meal for Christmas, too.

Maple-Roasted Turkey:
  • Brine a 16-17 lb. turkey overnight,* rinse with water, and dry completely with paper towels.
  • Transfer turkey to a roasting rack on top of a roasting pan and tuck wings under the body.
  • Stuff the cavity with several sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme, 1 quartered onion, 1 quartered lemon, and 1 halved head of garlic.
  • Tie the legs together with twine.
  • Use your fingers to rub 1 1/2 sticks of room temperature unsalted butter over the entire skin of the bird, season with salt,** pepper, and 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves.
  • Add 2 c. chicken stock to the bottom of the roasting pan to prevent the drippings from burning.
  • Roast in a 400F oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325F, cover pan with aluminum foil, and cook for another 3 to 3 1/2 hours, basting every thirty minutes.
  • Remove the foil from the turkey and brush the skin with maple syrup.
  • Roast turkey for another 30 minutes, or until golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reaches 165F.
  • Remove turkey from the oven, cover with foil, and let rest for 45-60 minutes.
  • Carve the turkey and serve on a platter.

Serves fourteen+ people
*Optional, but I think it makes a more flavorful, moist turkey.
**If bird is brined, you might not need any more salt.