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A plater of turkey with sides of spring asparagus with lemon, roasted carrots, spring mix salad, brioche dinner rolls and a chilled rosé, rounded out the meal.

Herb Roasted Turkey

To lighten the meal up from a traditional holiday turkey dinner, we skipped the dressing/stuffing, avoided the cranberry sauce, and freshened up the flavour with five herbs including cilantro. Sides of spring asparagus with lemon, roasted carrots, spring mix salad, brioche dinner rolls and a chilled rosé, rounded out the meal. Which my mother gobbled down while smiling from ear to ear!
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Course Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine North American
Servings 8 People

Ingredients
  

Turkey:

  • 1 13-pound whole fresh young turkey, neck & giblets removed and reserved
  • ½ stick unsalted butter slightly softened
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 large carrots cut in half lengthwise
  • 2-3 large stalks celery
  • 3 cups no salt added chicken stock

Turkey neck stock for gravy:

  • 1 Turkey neck
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 carrot cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 celery stalk cut into 2 -inch pieces
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped
  • 6 cups of no salt added chicken stock
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 3 to 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tablespoon black peppercorns
  • salt

Gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4-5 cups warm turkey neck stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

For the turkey:

  • Pat the turkey dry inside and out. Season it liberally with salt. Place on a rack over a sheet pan and place in the fridge uncovered for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting.
  • Combine the butter, olive oil, cilantro, sage, rosemary, thyme, and chives in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to 430°F convection roast (or 450°F no convection).
  • Put the 3 cups of the chicken stock in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
  • Using a wooden spoon or your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the breast of the turkey (careful not to rip the skin). Rub the breast meat (under the skin) with the herb butter mixture (approximately 1.5 tablespoons/breast). Then use the remaining herb butter to rub the entire exterior of the turkey.
  • Place the carrots & celery on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables, and place in the preheated oven. Roast until lightly golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to 335°F convection roast (or 350°F no convection). Continue roasting, basting with the warm chicken stock every 25 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165°F, about 1½ to 2 hours additional.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 30 minutes before slicing.
  • Note: If you are making the garlic mashed potatoes, put the garlic in the oven the same time as the turkey.

For the turkey neck stock:

  • While the turkey cooks, add the olive oil to medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Add the turkey neck and brown both sides (2 to 3 minutes/side). Add the carrots, celery, onions, season with salt, cover and let steam for 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the turkey neck bits off the bottom of the pan, add the stocks to the pan bring to a boil. Add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorn, lower the heat and let simmer uncovered, over low heat for 60 minutes. Strain and keep the stock warm while you make the gravy. Yields 4 to 5 cups of strained stock.

For the gravy:

  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the warm turkey neck stock, one cup at a time, stirring frequently for 30 to 60 seconds between cups, until the all the warm stock has been added. Cook until thickened and smooth, about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Keep warm until ready to serve.
Keyword Christmas dinner, comfort food, herb roasted, Mother's Day, roasted turkey, spring turkey, Thanksgiving Turkey
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