Here’s a Thanksgiving recipe or any time you want a festive turkey recipe to impress company. A recipe that I have a good chance of making is one that makes my mouth water. If it sounds good on paper, I’m more apt to try it. This is one of these recipes.
Recipe: Turkey with Vegetable Herb Rub
12-14 pound turkey
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon butter
1 small yellow onion, peeled, diced
4 shallots, diced
4 green onions
4 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch parsley leaves, washed chopped very thin
1 stalk celery, sliced 1/4 in thick
4 slices country bread
1 stick butter, melted
Directions: Saute he onion and shallot in 1 tablespoon butter for 5 minutes until soft and slightly colored. Add the green onion, and grate garlic into the pan, then cook for 30 seconds until you smell the fragrance of garlic. Cool to room temperature. Mix in bowl with 1/2 cup soft butter, plus the parsley and celery. Season with salt and pepper.
Lift up the skin of the turkey and spread vegetable paste under the skin. Set the oven at 275 degrees F. Generously soak 4 slices of bread in melted butter until butter is completely absorbed into bread. Season the turkey with salt and pepper.
Place bread slices over the breasts. In the oven, the bread will dry and shrink, self-basting the (over)butter into the turkey. Cook 3 1/2 hours until the inside temperature is 130 degrees F. Take the turkey from oven. Remove the bread and set aside. Cool turkey slightly by leaving out of the oven for one hour. Reset the oven to 350 degrees F. After cooling, return the turkey to the oven and roast for another 1/2 hour until golden brown and crispy.
Turkey Carving Tips: After the bird is cooked, the next steps are equally important. The two common mistakes that people make after cooking their turkey, is not waiting long enough for the bird to rest after it comes out of the oven and improperly carving it by using a dull knife or the wrong carving technique.
If you slice the turkey too soon, most of the juices will run out and your meat will be unnecessarily dry. And, if you carve improperly or use a dull knife, not only will carving be
more difficult, but your tasty turkey could become visually unappealing.
Michel Richard is chef/owner of Citronelle DC which is a James Beard Foundation winner for 2007.