Turkey Love

There are events that are celebrated for days, even a week at a time. Fashion Week, Mother’s Day, France’s Beaujolais Noveau Day, Valentines Day. All of these important, all celebrated on the date allotted to them. But because they’re all meaningful, they are still appreciated year-round. What about the beloved Turkey? Is it chopped liver? It is certainly treated as such. This humble, loud bird is forgotten about as soon as the clock strikes midnight on Thanksgiving Day.

POOF! It’s gone, except for the remaining carcass that may litter your fridge for a day or two. It seems people wait around all year to eat turkey one day and move on. Why? Where’s the turkey love? Even odd looking birds need love too. I have decided to show some turkey love this year by not limiting my turkey consumption to 1 day.

I will offer up some delicious turkey meals for the next few days. I will think outside of the traditional roasted turkey box and share my turkeyventures with you. Here’s Turkey 1: simple, no fuss, no basting.

Usually, I brine my turkey before roasting (more on that on a separate post). This time I wanted to treat the bird a bit differently, a little outside my comfort zone. I went for a rub of dry ingredients and olive oil. It turned out quite well.

Turkey #1 – Ginger Rubbed Turkey
For the rub:10-12 lb turkey, thawed
3 tbsp pureed garlic (about 6 cloves crushed)
1/2 tbsp each black and white pepper
2 tbsp sea salt
1-1/2 tbsp ginger powder
1/4 cp extra virgin olive oil
Remove giblets and neck from the turkey’s crevices, rinse the turkey in cool running water and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine the condiments together to make a paste. Rub this paste onto the bird, both the outside skin and the inside crevices. Cover it with plastic and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.

Roasting the turkey
Preheat oven to 400°
Aromatics
1 navel orange, quartered
1/2 cp Italian parsley, roughly chopped
5 unpeeled cloves garlic
1 cp ginger slivers
2 carrots, chopped
Remove the turkey from the fridge, use a damp paper towel to wipe off the excess rub from the skin. Mix the above ingredients, add a bit of salt and pepper, then stuff this into both openings in the turkey. Pat the skin dry.

Combine 1/2 cp melted butter (1 stick) and 1/4 cp extra virgin olive olive, and brush it onto the turkey on all sides. Place the bird on your roasting rack (I like roasting all birds with the breast down-this ensures extra juicy white meat) and into the oven for 20 minutes at 400° ; this will give it a nice golden brown color. After the 20 minutes, lower the oven’s temperature to 325° and cook the turkey until the thermometer reads about 170° in the thickest part of the thigh meat.

Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the oven and cover it foil. Allow it to rest covered for about 15 minutes. Remove the aromatics from the crevices before you begin carving it.

That’s it! I served it with an Onion Brown Butter Sauce and the best Mashed Potatoes ever!

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