Co-Executive Chef/Co-Owner, Campanile Restaurant
Los Angeles, CA
This turkey, cured by soaking in a brine
mixture, will be slightly pink with a moister texture and spicier
flavor than a standard roast bird. Reserve the neck and giblets
for another use. An untraditional stuffing made without bread
is used to flavor the turkey and thicken the gravy. Be sure to
allow time for the turkey to cure overnight.
Spice-Cured Roast Turkey
12 Servings Plus Leftovers
- 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
- 20 fresh sage leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 large dried red chile
- 1/2 tablespoon whole allspice berries
- 12 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 1/3 cups coarse or kosher salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 7 whole cloves
- 1/2 tablespoon whole allspice berries coarsely
- 1/2 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed
- One 14-pound turkey
- Table salt and freshly ground pepper
- 25 garlic cloves, smashed
- 3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 large celery rib, coarsely chopped plus
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery leaves
- Table salt
- 4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1. Make the brown butter: In a medium saucepan,
bring the butter to a simmer over moderate heat. Simmer, scraping
up any solids that stick to the bottom of the pan, until the butter
turns deep brown, about 6 minutes; do not let the butter burn.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the sage leaves and
let steep for 5 minutes.
2. Using a fork, discard the sage leaves.
Pour the butter into a glass jar or ceramic container, cover
and refrigerate until solid, or for up to 2 days. Before using,
let the butter soften at room temperature until pliable, at least
30 minutes; stir to distribute any browned solids that have settled
on the bottom.
3. Prepare the spice mixture: In a small
skillet, toast the fennel seeds, chile, allspice berries and peppercorns
over moderately high heat, tossing frequently, until fragrant,
about 3 minutes. Let cook, then transfer to a spice grinder or
mortar and finely grind them (the spice mixture can be kept, covered
at room temperature up to 2 days.)
4. Prepare the cured turkey: In a very
large stock pot, combine the coarse salt, sugar, bay leaves, thyme,
cloves and allspice and juniper berries. Add 2 gallons of water
and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the heat and let cool
to room temperature. add the turkey to the brine, breast side
down, cover and let stand overnight in a cool place or in the
refrigerator over night.
5. Make the vegetable stuffing: Preheat
the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, toss the
garlic with the onions, celery and celery leaves and 1/2 tablespoon
of the spice mixture; season with salt.
6. Season the inside of the turkey with
salt and pepper. Spoon all but 2 cups of the stuffing into the
chest and neck cavities. Using your fingers, loosen the skin
from the breast without tearing it. Evenly spread the softened
brown butter under the skin. close the neck with toothpicks.
7. Set the turkey, breast side up, on a
rack in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture
all over the bird and loosely tie the legs together with kitchen
string. Scatter the reserved stuffing around the turkey and pour
the stock over the stuffing.
8. Roast the turkey for 20 minutes. Lower
the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, cover the turkey
loosely with foil and continue roasting for about 4 hours, basting
frequently, until an instant read thermometer inserted in the
inner thigh registers 165-170 degrees. Add water to the pan during
cooking if the juices evaporate. Transfer the turkey to a carving
board and let stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before
9. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Pass the
pan juices through a coarse strainer into a medium saucepan, pressing
down on the softened vegetables to work them through the strainer.
Skim the fat from the pan gravy.
10. Set the roasting pan over 2 burners
over moderately high heat. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring
to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Lower the heat to moderate
and boil, stirring constantly until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
Stir this mixture into the pan gravy in the saucepan and season
with salt and pepper. Warm the gravy through, if necessary, then
pour into a sauce boat and serve alongside the turkey.
MARK'S NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION:
To plant a better herb garden.
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