Recipe: Sara Moulton's Simple Roasted Turkey
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Here is a simple and delicious way of roasting your turkey this Thanksgiving, from culinary icon and star of Sara’s Weeknight Meals on PBS, Sara Moulton.
Sara Moulton's Simple Roasted Turkey
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Arrange an oven shelf in the lower third of the oven. Remove the neck and giblets from the body cavity of the turkey, reserving them for turkey broth (see turkey broth recipe, below). Drain the juices and pat the bird dry inside and out.
2. If stuffing, stuff right before roasting. Return legs to tucked position, if untucked.
3. Arrange the turkey breast side up in a rack (preferably a v-rack), set in a heavy large roasting pan. Melt a stick of butter and brush the turkey all over with one third of the butter. Season with salt and pepper and cover the whole turkey loosely with foil. Pour two cups of chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan and roast the turkey in the lower third of the oven for 1 hour. Uncover and baste with another third of the butter. Recover the turkey and roast until approximately half way through the total cooking time. Uncover the turkey, baste with the remaining butter and roast, uncovered, until a thermometer when inserted in the thickest part of the leg thigh joint reaches 165 F.
4. Transfer the turkey to a platter, leaving the drippings in the pan for the gravy (see gravy recipe, below) and cover the turkey loosely with foil. Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes, preferably 30 minutes before carving.
Sara Moulton’s Turkey Broth Recipe
Cook Time: Over 120 min
A Thanksgiving turkey would be naked without the proper broth and gravy.
Ingredients• The giblets and neck from 1 turkey (save the liver for another use, such as sauteing and serving on a piece of toast)
• 4 cups chicken broth (good quality canned is fine)
• 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
• 1 small carrot, cut in half
• 1 celery rib, cut in half
• 1 small parsnip (optional), cut in half
• 1 thyme sprig
• 1 parsley sprig
• 1 Turkish bay leaf
• 4 cups cold water
Combine the giblets and neck with the chicken broth in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down immediately and simmer, skimming and discarding the skum (this is nothing scarier than the protein solids from the giblets and neck but it will cloud the broth if you leave it in) that rises to the surface with a slotted spoon. After about 20 minutes, when there is no more skum rising to the surface, add the remaining ingredients and bring the liquid back to a simmer. Simmer the broth, adding water as necessary to keep all the ingredients submerged in liquid, for 2 1/5 to 3 hours. Strain and skim off any fat that settles at the top. You can use that fat for your pan gravy. Makes 4 cups.
Sara's No-Fail Pan Gravy
I recommend making ½ cup gravy per person, since it is Thanksgiving. You need that much gravy to pour over everything, and for leftovers. So here is the formula: For each cup of gravy, you will need 1 cup turkey or chicken broth, 1 ½ tablespoons drippings, fat or butter and 1 ½ tablespoons flour (preferably the instant kind, Wondra, which Granny favored because it didn't cause lumps in the gravy). Here is a sample recipe for 4 cups gravy serving 8 people: 6 tablespoons fat from drippings in roasting pan, and/or butter or a combination 6 level tablespoons flour 4 cups turkey or chicken broth After you have taken your turkey out of the oven, transfer it to a platter and cover it loosely with foil. While it is resting, put the roasting pan on the stove. Transfer whatever liquid is in the roasting pan to a glass measuring cup and let it settle. The fat will float to the top. Skim off the fat and measure it. (Save the liquid, as well, to add later.)
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