Thursday, November 10, 2011

Best Ever Roasted Turkey

Two weeks until Thanksgiving!  One of my favorite days of the year…..because I get to eat until I almost explode!  Today I have a recipe for the most important part of your holiday meal….unless you’re a vegetarian.  I have no recipes for tofurkey, but I do have a fabulous recipe for a regular roasted turkey.  I made THE BEST turkey yesterday using my Gourmet Rooster Carolina Style BBQ sauce.  Yes, that is right….I used a mustard based BBQ sauce.  So if you don’t like mustard, this recipe isn’t for you.  That means you, mom.  You can stop reading now;)  If you do like mustard, get out your elastic waist pants because this turkey recipe is that good.

My Carolina Style BBQ sauce is smoky and a bit spicy.  It has mustard, vinegar, and lots of secret spices in it.  It works so well with poultry, I figured why not create a roasted turkey recipe with it.

I start by making a compound butter to cover the turkey in.  A compound butter is butter and anything else blended into it.  Mine stars butter (duh), Carolina Style sauce, sage, garlic, and salt & pepper. 

I throw all the ingredients into the food processor.  You could always use a blender if you don’t have a food processor.  Oh yea, make sure you butter is at room temperature.  You really want this to come together as a smooth mixture.

The next step is to slather the butter all over the turkey.  And I mean all over.

I had a 13 pound turkey.  I let it defrost in the fridge for a few days.  Once it was defrosted, I pulled its nasty guts out and rinsed it with cool water.  I also patted it dry after its bath.  Then I put it in a pair of snuggly pajamas and tucked it in.  I’m kidding on the last part.  Where would I get a turkey pjs?

To re-visit the “all over”, you really have to slather this butter under the skin, on top of the skin, in all of its crevices and cracks.  It is a dirty job, but someone needs to be wrist deep in this turkey.

I cooked my turkey on a rack in a roasting pan.  I put some aromatics (I’m so fancy!) in the bottom of the pan too.  Aromatics are things like carrots, celery, onion, etc.  This will help give the gravy great flavor later.

I cooked my turkey at 325 degrees for about 3 and ½ hours.  Your cook time will depend on the size of your turkey, but your turkey should have directions on its wrapping.  I also had to cover my turkey with foil, loosely, about halfway through cooking because his breasts were getting too dark;)

Beautiful turkey!  And your house will seriously smell so good!  Cooking a turkey is actually pretty easy.  And this turkey ends up so moist and flavorful because of the compound butter.  Literally, butter flows out of this dude….Paula Deen would be proud.

You do need a few additional ingredients for the gravy…..I used more Carolina Style sauce, chicken broth, butter, flour, and a splash of cream besides the pan drippings.

You need to separate your pan drippings into fat and not fat.  This will seem hard because it will all seem like fat.  I let mine cool a bit and the fat will congeal on the top.  I plucked out the aromatics and skimmed the fat off the top.

I had about 2 tablespoons of good fat.  I put that in a pan with 2 tablespoons of butter too.  This is Thanksgiving, go big.

Once the butter melted, I added a few tablespoons of flour and whisked that until smooth.  Then, I added the drippings that had been skimmed of fat, and about 3 to 4 cups of broth.  I kept whisking this as it came to a boil.  Once it boils, it will thicken. 

While the gravy was simmering, I added ¼ cup of Carolina Style sauce and a splash of cream.  And by splash, I mean another ¼ cup;)  It also might need some more salt and pepper, taste it to see.

If your gravy gets too thick, just whisk in some more broth.

This was, by far, the best gravy I have ever had.  It had a subtle mustard taste that was amazing and so perfect with turkey.

Here is my finished turkey!  Isn’t he pretty??  You can see butter gushing out.  He was almost too pretty to carve.  Almost.

I think you should try this turkey recipe this Thanksgiving.  And not just because I created it.  But because it is different than what you are used to.  It definitely isn’t your basic roasted turkey.  The Carolina Sauce brings it to a whole ‘nother level.  A level that you want to be at.  For real.

I will see you next week with more Thanksgiving recipes!

Carolina Style Compound Butter

2 sticks butter (1 cup), softened

1 cup Gourmet Rooster Carolina Style BBQ sauce

3 cloves garlic

20 leaves fresh sage

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Place all ingredients in food processor.  Blend until smooth.

Slather this butter all over your turkey and bake according to package directions.

Carolina Style Gravy

Pan drippings from roasted turkey, fat skimmed off and reserved

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

3 to 4 cups chicken broth

¼ cup Gourmet Rooster Carolina Style BBQ sauce

¼ cup cream

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, melt butter with 2 tablespoons of fat from pan drippings.  Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in pan drippings and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally.

Once gravy has come to a boil and thickened, whisk in BBQ sauce and cream.  Heat through.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.

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