Thursday, November 26, 2015

Butter-Basted Roast Turkey with Mushroom Gravy

This holiday dinner was full of new things to try out. My experiment with turkey started out with looking for new ideas for side dishes. This recipe looked like it would be delicious, so I gave it a go. This was a new experience because normally, we season the turkey and put it in an oven roaster bag to cook, and it self-bastes - no muss, no fuss. At the last minute, Donnie requested that I stuff the turkey. So I took the usual stuffing recipe that I use from Betty Crocker, and stuffed the bird. I've never cooked a stuffed turkey before - I've always left that experience for when Mom and Dad visit.
Butter-Basted Roast Turkey with Mushroom Gravy

  • 2½ c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 c. unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1¼ tsp. fresh-ground pepper
  • 2 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh turkey
  • 6 carrots
  • 3 onions
  • ½ c. red wine
  • ½ lb. assorted wild mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh sage
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  1. Make basting liquid: Combine 1 cup chicken broth, the butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, thyme sprigs, rosemary, and bay leaf in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter melts, reduce the heat to low and keep the mixture warm.
  2. Prepare the turkey: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Season the turkey cavity and skin with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Truss the turkey and place breast side up in a roasting pan fitted with a wire rack. Arrange the carrots and onions around the bottom of the pan, place in the oven, and roast for 30 minutes. Baste the turkey with the basting liquid, covering all surfaces. Continue to roast, basting every 30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thigh meat reads 175 degrees F -- about 3 hours. Remove the turkey from oven, reserve pan drippings, and let rest 30 minutes before carving.
  3. Make the gravy: Pour the drippings and solids from the roasting pan into a measuring cup. Skim off any fat, reserving 2 tablespoons. Return the drippings and the solids to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Stirring constantly, add the red wine and cook until any bits of vegetable or meat are loosened from the bottom of the pan -- about 2 minutes. Strain, discard solids, and set aside. Heat the reserved fat in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat and sauté the mushrooms until cooked through -- about 8 minutes. Add the strained drippings, 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, 1 teaspoon thyme, sage, remaining salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat until slightly reduced -- about 10 minutes. Combine the remaining chicken broth and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the gravy and continue to cook until slightly thickened -- about 2 minutes. Stir in the fresh lemon juice and serve warm.
The turkey turned out really well, even by Tom's standards. The basting liquid smelled wonderful, the fresh herbs added wonderful flavor to everything, the skin was browned just right from the basting. I was concerned that the wine in the gravy would be overpowering, but it wasn't. I would definitely use this recipe again.

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