Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Classic Oven Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy

My classic oven roasted turkey begins with a brine, then is left uncovered in the fridge overnight, is trussed, then stuffed with aromatics, and basted with a turkey or chicken stock or broth that is infused with apple cider throughout the roast.
My classic oven roasted turkey begins with a brine, then is left uncovered in the fridge overnight, is trussed, then stuffed with aromatics, and basted with a turkey or chicken stock or broth that is infused with apple cider throughout the roast.

Classic Oven Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy

It took me a few years to get the Cooking of the Holiday Turkey down, but this method has worked out so well over the years that it is how I have finally settled on doing my holiday birds.

I would love to show you step by step pics, and the finished slices, but they are currently being held hostage by my iMac, thanks to me stupidly doing an OS update, that I should have waited on. 
This is a good place to insert a quick reminder... that this is a blog, not just a "recipe site," and yes, there is a difference! I want to first thank all of you who have supported my work over the years. Your notes to me are uplifting and encouraging, however, if you aren't interested in the chit chat, info, photos, tips and such in a post, as always, you'll find the complete recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll down to the bottom of the post!
It's been par for the course I tell ya, because for some reason I have had technology gremlins that have been haunting me for months. Sporadic internet connections, rebooting computers over and over and over, rebooting the modem multiple times before finally replacing it, lots of buffering and hanging and a crashed external drive that held all my cooking photos for the past 7 years is what I've been dealing with.

My ISP, who I've had for far more years than that, somehow deleted my entire email account "by accident" with an upgrade, and was apparently unable to recover any of it.

This past Saturday, I couldn't access my own website. After some time on the phone, I discovered my ISP lost communication with the server that hosts Deep South Dish, giving everybody, including me, a DNS error message, and making my website unavailable to anybody using a wifi connection for virtually a full day - on one of the busiest weekends of the year for my blog.

And now this with the "trusty" Mac.

That's life in this world today, though, isn't it? Technology is awesome when things are running smooth, but when things go wrong, well it can throw everything out of kilter, especially if you have business related to the internet. Not to mention all the valuable time you waste trying to solve the tech issues, when you should be cooking, taking photos and blogging. I swear, it sure seems that computers were easier when it was all command line DOS driven (and some of you have no idea what that means, which means I really am old)...

Anyway... back to the turkey. I've typed everything I do up in a printable recipe for you, but I'll summarize what I do here. Just scroll down a bit for the printable.

Don't get overwhelmed by the length!

I just wanted to be very specific about everything because I remember how nervous I was the first time I made a holiday turkey. Follow these instructions and you got this!

The addition of apple cider makes the most fabulous gravy. Don't worry. It's not an apple gravy, but just a bit of a flavor boost making for an amazing tasting turkey gravy. The brine, well, even though their are folks with arguments on both sides, y'all know that I love brining my birds! It adds flavor and it gives a little insurance against over cooking, although I now use a Polder in-oven thermometer and highly, highly recommend getting one.

This is the Polder I use.

I put the turkey in the brine the morning before I want to cook it and let it brine all day. Before I go to bed, I remove it from the brine, lightly rinse off excess salt and then put it in a roasting pan, uncovered, in the fridge, which helps the skin to crisp up during roasting and seems to help the skin color up better. Be sure to clean up your sink and all the surrounding workspace with a good bleach cleaner afterwards.

When I take the turkey out in the morning to roast it, I rub it all over with black pepper and butter, and loosely stuff it with aromatics, truss up the legs, tuck the wings under and place it on a rack over more aromatics, and some turkey or chicken broth and a bit of apple cider in the bottom of the roasting pan. Some brands of turkey, such as Butterball, will leave some skin for you to tuck the legs into, making for an easy trussing.

The Calphalon roaster I purchased years ago - it's a best seller!

I roast the turkey at 425 degrees F for the first 40 minutes, then reduce it to 350-degree F for about 17 minutes per pound after that, keeping an eye on the thermometer (180 degrees F at the thickest part of the thigh) and basting it with the pan juices about every 30 minutes. The 15 pound turkey pictured, took about 4 hours 15 minutes total.

Following this method produces a juicy and very flavorful end result, but also just the added bit of apple cider in the pan with the aromatics makes for the best turkey gravy I have ever made.

Unable to view the printable below on your device? Tap/click here.

Posted by on November 24, 2015
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