Three Weeks Until Thanksgiving-Start Thinking Turkey
November 6, 2008
It’s only 3 weeks until Thanksgiving, and I don’t know about you but I will be hosting it at my house. I usually do it every year, and if I plan ahead, I won’t have to stress at all. For the next few weeks I will feature a number of entries to focus on Thanksgiving, and I thought I would begin with turkey. I followed Martha Stewart’s method for using a cheesecloth back in 1997 when I developed my turkey recipe below for Christmas with Southern Living Cookbook. It has been a family favorite ever since.
Orange-Glazed Roasted Turkey
The cheesecloth covering on this turkey acts as a blanket that locks in juices. The roasted results are incredibly moist.
Yield 10 servings
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 (12-pound) turkey
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chicken or turkey broth
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier) or orange marmalade
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 tablespoon coarse-grained mustard
Garnishes: flowering kale, baby artichokes, red grapes
Cut a 36″ length of cheesecloth; unfold to a single layer (measuring 36″ square). Fold cheesecloth in half crosswise; fold in half lengthwise to make an 18″ square. Pour orange juice into a small bowl; submerge cheesecloth square in orange juice, and let soak 5 minutes.
Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for making homemade broth, if desired. Rinse turkey thoroughly with cold water; pat dry. Sprinkle cavity with salt and pepper. Place turkey, breast side up, in a greased broiler pan. Tie legs together with heavy string, or tuck them under flap of skin; wrap a small piece of aluminum foil around ends of legs. Lift wingtips up and over back, and tuck under bird. Brush turkey with oil; add broth to pan.
Lift cheesecloth out of orange juice, and squeeze lightly, leaving it very damp; reserve orange juice in bowl. Add butter and next 4 ingredients to orange juice; stir well. Brush turkey lightly with orange glaze mixture. Unfold cheesecloth to 18″ square. Spread cheesecloth over most of turkey, covering legs and wings. Brush cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with orange glaze mixture; pour remaining glaze over covered breast of turkey.
Insert a meat thermometer into meaty portion of thigh, making sure it does not touch bone. Bake at 325° on bottom oven rack until thermometer registers 170° (2 1/2 to 3 hours), basting cheesecloth and exposed areas of turkey every 30 minutes with pan juices. (Cheesecloth will become very brown as turkey roasts.)
Carefully remove and discard cheesecloth. Cut string holding legs together; remove small piece of aluminum foil. Baste turkey heavily with pan drippings. Bake turkey at 325° for 30 additional minutes or until thermometer registers 180°, basting heavily with pan drippings every 10 minutes. (Turkey skin can overbrown easily, so watch carefully.)
When turkey is done, let stand in pan 15 minutes; then carefully transfer to a serving platter. Brush again with pan drippings; reserve remaining pan drippings for Pan Gravy. Cover turkey with foil while preparing gravy. Garnish platter with kale, baby artichokes and red grapes, if desired. Serve turkey with Pan Gravy.
Note: If you are using a larger or smaller turkey, adjust roasting time accordingly, and remove cheesecloth for the last 30 minutes of roasting. The turkey browns quickly after removing cheesecloth, so baste often at that point.
Christmas with Southern Living 1997, Oxmoor House, JANUARY 1997 www.myrecipes.com
Here were Martha’s instructions:
Cover the turkey with cheesecloth that has been soaking in butter and wine; the cloth should cover the breast and part of the leg area. Make sure the cheesecloth never dries out or comes into contact with the inside walls of the oven; in either situation, it may ignite.