Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Alton Brown - My Food Crush (All because of some Turkey and Gravy)

I have a new food crush. Alton Brown from Food Network is the man!

Why do I feel this way, you ask? What is it that inspires my new devotion? It is all because of my search for the perfect Turkey recipe using brine and a good gravy recipe.

Alton not only had recipes, he has a video on how to make the gravy. As both a turkey and homemade gravy virgin, this was absolutely imperative. So at this point we have a win (recipe) win (video) situation.

Once we made the turkey and the gravy, I realized that this was actually a win win win win situation. Those last two were for the great tasting turkey, so moist I couldn't believe it and a gravy that Mr. Gooch can't get enough of.

Good Eats Roast Turkey
To view the recipe on the Food Network site, click here.
1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:

1 gallon vegetable stock
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

1 red apple, quartered
1/2 onion, quartered
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil

2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.
Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil.
Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket.
Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine.
If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

The Day you are eating:

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.
Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 151 degrees F.
A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting.
Let the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Perfect Turkey Gravy

1 Good Eats Roast Turkey, recipe above
24 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth
8 ounces red wine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh herbs such as oregano, thyme or rosemary
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Remove the turkey from the roasting pan and set aside to rest.
Leave the drippings from the turkey in the pan and place the roasting pan over medium heat.
Add the broth and wine at the same time. Whisk to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan until all of the bits have come loose.
Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes in order to reduce the mixture slightly.
Transfer the liquid to a fat separator and let sit for 5 minutes to allow fat to separate.
Return 2/3 to 3/4 cup of the fat to the roasting pan and place over medium-high heat. Discard any remaining fat.
Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture starts to thicken and become smooth, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
Once this happens, gradually add the liquid back to the pan and whisk until smooth and you have reached your desired consistency, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Remember, your gravy should be slightly thin in the pan as it will thicken once you serve it.
Add the herbs and whisk to combine.
Season with salt and pepper.

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Anonymous said...

mmmm this is exactly how my brother fixed the turkey for us this year on was to DIE FOR!!! great recipe!

What's Cookin Chicago said...

That turkey looks amazing! I've heard raves about this recipe and have yet to try it!

Ginny said...

My dad loves Alton Brown, lol.

SYD said...

First of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Alton Brown. Love the way he cooks, explains things and gives a thorough background on the most basic things. Secondly, this turkey looks delicious!
By the way--am a new addition to your blog.

Snooky doodle said...

this looks yummy :)


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