23 Nov

Best Ever Roasted Turkey & Stuffing (and by the way…it’s Gluten Free!)

This recipe is an adaptation of my mother’s Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing.  The recipe originated from the Italian family who owned a vineyard in Napa valley, the Sebastiani’s, although my mom adapted it and I further adapt it to meet our dietary restrictions.  It’s so good, I’ve never tasted a turkey & stuffing that match this one!  Of course I’m biased, having grown up falling in love with the unmatchable flavor blends of homemade turkey stock, white wine, butter, and now Pecorino Romano cheese.  You’ll be so glad you made this!

Thanksgiving (6 of 98)

 Nutritional Note:  Happily, this roasted turkey is Paleo, SCD & GAPS compliant, and Ketogenic.  It’s not vegetarian, and the white wine and grass-fed butter make in non-compliant with Clean (but no one should be on a cleanse on Thanskgiving!).

Prep Time:  24 hours in advance for the brine; approximately 45 minutes prepping the turkey to go into the oven.  Make sure your Turkey Stock and Stuffing are prepared prior to prepping the turkey so you’re ready to stuff & place in the oven.  Aproximately 4-6 hours to roast, depending on the size of your turkey.

Yield: One big turkey large enough to feed a big, extended family!

Tools:   Many tools are used for this special meal: a roasting pan and rack, a baster, an oven thermometer and a meat thermometer, a 5-gallon bucket and trash bag for the brine, paper towels, and a brown paper bag.

Recipe Cost:  This will vary for each person, but this recipe cost us $75.39.  A special meal!

 Ingredients:

One large roasting Turkey, this one weighed 18 pounds ($16)

Approximately 3-4 cups sea salt for the brine ($1.50)

Plenty of grape seed oil, to cover turkey inside & out ($3.00)

Sea salt (I used French Grey salt) ($1.00)

Fresh ground pepper ($.25)

Garlic powder ($.35)

Basting Sauce (see below) ($12.87)

One batch of Amazing Gluten Free Stuffing ($27.55)

Basting Sauce Ingredients ($12.87):

1 cup (2 sticks) grass-fed butter ($1.87)

1 cup homemade Turkey stock (approx. $1.00)

1 cup a white wine you’d like to drink (I used a Sav.  Blanc that was $10)

 

Directions:

24 hours prior to prepping the turkey to go into the oven, take a frozen or fresh turkey and place inside a clean kitchen trash bag lining a 5 gallon bucket.  You want to add approximately 1 cup of sea salt for every gallon of water you use for the brine.  Since this is a 5 gallon bucket and we’re using less than 5 gallons of water, I used 3 cups of sea salt to brine this turkey.  In cold weather climates (we’re in New England) you can cover this bucket and seal tightly the lid and let it brine on your porch; in warm weather climates,  you’re going to have to brine for less time (say 12 hours overnite) or sacrifice some refrigerator space.

Thanksgiving (101 of 3)

Thanksgiving (100 of 3)

 

 

Once you’re ready to prep the turkey, pour the brine down the kitchen sink and set the bag holding the turkey in the sink.

Thanksgiving (99 of 3)

Thanksgiving (94 of 98)

Now you’ll put on your gloves for better sanitation (I like them because it really cuts down on the raw meat exposure) and pick up the turkey and turn it upside down to drain out all the brine.  Then set the turkey down in the roasting pan on the rack.

Thanksgiving (88 of 98)

Thanksgiving (87 of 98)

Thanksgiving (85 of 98)Thanksgiving (84 of 98)

It’s important to completely pad dry the turkey.  You won’t get that beautiful, crispy golden skin unless you first pat it down all over.

Thanksgiving (83 of 98)

Next, since it cooks so long and you don’t want any part of it to burn, we’ll coat the turkey inside and out with a layer of grape seed oil (olive oil goes rancid at high heats so we don’t cook with it anymore).  Get the turkey all over, top & bottom, inside & out.

Now it’s time to salt the turkey.  I really prefer sea salt, and as intimidating as it can be the first few times you do this, remember the words of the incredible chef Thomas Keller, and…”let it rain”.  This is a huge part of perfect, beautiful roasted skin.  Be sure to salt the cavity as well.

Thanksgiving (80 of 98)

Thanksgiving (79 of 98)

Also sprinkle your black pepper and garlic powder all over the outside of the turkey.

Thanksgiving (78 of 98)

Thanksgiving (77 of 98)

Thanksgiving (76 of 98)Thanksgiving (75 of 98)

Now our turkey is ready to stuff with the most Amazing Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe ever.

Thanksgiving (42 of 98)Thanksgiving (41 of 98)

Thanksgiving (40 of 98)

Thanksgiving (39 of 98)

And don’t forget to stuff the rear cavity, either.  The stuffing from inside the turkey is the absolute best, so get as much of it in there as you can (without overstuffing).

Thanksgiving (38 of 98)

Thanksgiving (37 of 98)Thanksgiving (36 of 98)

Thanksgiving (82 of 98)

Thanksgiving (81 of 98)

 

As you can see from the picture, this turkey was mechanically eviscerated (it’s so much better to butcher your own poultry!  You can be sure to never be so careless as to expose so much breast meat by cutting off so much of the skin).  I can’t get the skin to pull over anymore, but I also can’t let this skin stay exposed or it will dry out.  Any fat will do, really, but the easiest way for me to fix this with what I have on hand is to cut thick pieces of bacon belly fat and carefully cover all the exposed skin.

Thanksgiving (35 of 98)Thanksgiving (34 of 98)

Next it’s time to tuck under the wings, so they won’t be exposed and burn.  Sometimes they fold right under and sometimes you have to really wrestle them under with two hands, but either way, make it happen.

Thanksgiving (33 of 98)

Thanksgiving (32 of 98)Thanksgiving (31 of 98)

Place a meat thermometer  into the turkey and turn it on and set it (I use the Oxo thermometer; I choose Poultry and when it asks where the prong is inserted, I chose Breast).  You’ll see there is an auto-thermometer this turkey came with, but I don’t trust it and we’ll find out whether it worked properly or not since we’re tracking exactly how hot the turkey gets.

Speaking of tracking the heat exactly, I can’t recommend enough you have an oven thermometer.  As a military family and moving all the time, I’ve NEVER had an oven that was calibrated correctly.  It could be your frustration with baking is just…your oven!  By knowing exactly how hot your oven is and exactly the temperature of your bird, you CAN’T FAIL!

Thanksgiving (27 of 98)

Thanksgiving (29 of 98)Now cover your turkey with a brown paper bag (this really works!  Cut out a size custom to your turkey), so that you’ll get a perfectly golden turkey that’s not charred to a crisp.

Thanksgiving (28 of 98)

Thanksgiving (26 of 98)

Place your turkey in a 350 degree oven, and let the Oxo meat thermometer (or whichever brand you have) tell you when the turkey is done!

Once your turkey is in the oven, it’s time to make the basting sauce.  Take your last remaining cup of Turkey stock you’ve made the day before, plus 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of a good white wine of your choice, and melt them together in a small saucepan to prep your basting sauce.  

Thanksgiving (20 of 98)

About every hour or so, baste your turkey.

Thanksgiving (18 of 98)

Thanksgiving (17 of 98)

 I noticed that the auto-thermometer the turkey came with popped very early, when the Oxo thermometer told me the turkey was only 141 degrees.  This is much lower than the “chef done” temperature of 155, or the standard accepted done temperature of 165.  By using your own thermometer you won’t get food poisoning, and you’ll know with confidence exactly when that turkey was done!  This one took me about 4 hours to roast.

Pull the turkey out of the oven and let it rest for a good 20 minutes prior to carving.  Because you’ve brined this turkey, and now you’re letting it rest, it will be your juiciest turkey ever!

Thanksgiving (8 of 98)

Thanksgiving (6 of 98)

Look how beautifully golden the skin is! Perfect.

Thanksgiving (5 of 98)

And here’s your delicious stuffing, pulled out of the cavities.

Thanksgiving (4 of 98)

You’ll have LOTS Of juices in that pan to make the best gravy EVER!  Mix the fat with some gluten free flour (potato starch works beautifully and the flavor profile is perfect because imagine, how you’re likely even serving with mashed potatoes) to make a rue, then stir in chicken stock to make an amazing gravy with all the hints of the wine, butter, and seasonings of your turkey.  Enjoy!

Best Ever Roasted Turkey & Stuffing (and by the way…it's Gluten Free!)
This recipe is an adaptation of my mother's Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing. The recipe originated from the Italian family who owned a vineyard in Napa valley, the Sebastiani's, although my mom adapted it and I further adapt it to meet our dietary restrictions. It's so good, I've never tasted a turkey & stuffing that match this one! Of course I'm biased, having grown up falling in love with the unmatchable flavor blends of homemade turkey stock, white wine, butter, and now Pecorino Romano cheese. You'll be so glad you made this!
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Ingredients
  1. One large roasting Turkey, this one weighed 18 pounds ($16)
  2. Approximately 3-4 cups sea salt for the brine ($1.50)
  3. Plenty of grape seed oil, to cover turkey inside & out ($3.00)
  4. Sea salt (I used French Grey salt) ($1.00)
  5. Fresh ground pepper ($.25)
  6. Garlic powder ($.35)
  7. Basting Sauce (see below) ($12.87)
  8. One batch of Amazing Gluten Free Stuffing ($27.55)
Basting Sauce Ingredients ($12.87)
  1. 1 cup (2 sticks) grass-fed butter ($1.87)
  2. 1 cup homemade Turkey stock (approx. $1.00)
  3. 1 cup a white wine you'd like to drink (I used a Sav. Blanc that was $10)
Instructions
  1. 24 hours prior to prepping the turkey to go into the oven, take a frozen or fresh turkey and place inside a clean kitchen trash bag lining a 5 gallon bucket. You want to add approximately 1 cup of sea salt for every gallon of water you use for the brine. Since this is a 5 gallon bucket and we're using less than 5 gallons of water, I used 3 cups of sea salt to brine this turkey. In cold weather climates (we're in New England) you can cover this bucket and seal tightly the lid and let it brine on your porch; in warm weather climates, you're going to have to brine for less time (say 12 hours overnite) or sacrifice some refrigerator space.
  2. Once you're ready to prep the turkey, pour the brine down the kitchen sink and set the bag holding the turkey in the sink.
  3. Now you'll put on your gloves for better sanitation (I like them because it really cuts down on the raw meat exposure) and pick up the turkey and turn it upside down to drain out all the brine. Then set the turkey down in the roasting pan on the rack.
  4. It's important to completely pad dry the turkey. You won't get that beautiful, crispy golden skin unless you first pat it down all over.
  5. Next, since it cooks so long and you don't want any part of it to burn, we'll coat the turkey inside and out with a layer of grape seed oil (olive oil goes rancid at high heats so we don't cook with it anymore). Get the turkey all over, top & bottom, inside & out.
  6. Now it's time to salt the turkey. I really prefer sea salt, and as intimidating as it can be the first few times you do this, remember the words of the incredible chef Thomas Keller, and…"let it rain". This is a huge part of perfect, beautiful roasted skin. Be sure to salt the cavity as well.
  7. Also sprinkle your black pepper and garlic powder all over the outside of the turkey.
  8. Now our turkey is ready to stuff with the most Amazing Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe ever.
  9. And don't forget to stuff the rear cavity, either. The stuffing from inside the turkey is the absolute best, so get as much of it in there as you can (without overstuffing).
  10. As you can see from the picture, this turkey was mechanically eviscerated (it's so much better to butcher your own poultry! You can be sure to never be so careless as to expose so much breast meat by cutting off so much of the skin). I can't get the skin to pull over anymore, but I also can't let this skin stay exposed or it will dry out. Any fat will do, really, but the easiest way for me to fix this with what I have on hand is to cut thick pieces of bacon belly fat and carefully cover all the exposed skin.
  11. Next it's time to tuck under the wings, so they won't be exposed and burn. Sometimes they fold right under and sometimes you have to really wrestle them under with two hands, but either way, make it happen.
  12. Place a meat thermometer into the turkey and turn it on and set it (I use the Oxo thermometer; I choose Poultry and when it asks where the prong is inserted, I chose Breast). You'll see there is an auto-thermometer this turkey came with, but I don't trust it and we'll find out whether it worked properly or not since we're tracking exactly how hot the turkey gets.
  13. Speaking of tracking the heat exactly, I can't recommend enough you have an oven thermometer. As a military family and moving all the time, I've NEVER had an oven that was calibrated correctly. It could be your frustration with baking is just…your oven! By knowing exactly how hot your oven is and exactly the temperature of your bird, you CAN'T FAIL!
  14. Now cover your turkey with a brown paper bag (this really works! Cut out a size custom to your turkey), so that you'll get a perfectly golden turkey that's not charred to a crisp.
  15. Place your turkey in a 350 degree oven, and let the Oxo meat thermometer (or whichever brand you have) tell you when the turkey is done!
  16. Once your turkey is in the oven, it's time to make the basting sauce. Take your last remaining cup of Turkey stock you've made the day before, plus 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of a good white wine of your choice, and melt them together in a small saucepan to prep your basting sauce.
  17. About every hour or so, baste your turkey.
  18. I noticed that the auto-thermometer the turkey came with popped very early, when the Oxo thermometer told me the turkey was only 141 degrees. This is much lower than the "chef done" temperature of 155, or the standard accepted done temperature of 165. By using your own thermometer you won't get food poisoning, and you'll know with confidence exactly when that turkey was done! This one took me about 4 hours to roast.
  19. Pull the turkey out of the oven and let it rest for a good 20 minutes prior to carving. Because you've brined this turkey, and now you're letting it rest, it will be your juiciest turkey ever!
  20. You'll have LOTS Of juices in that pan to make the best gravy EVER! Mix the fat with some gluten free flour (potato starch works beautifully and the flavor profile is perfect because imagine, how you're likely even serving with mashed potatoes) to make a rue, then stir in chicken stock to make an amazing gravy with all the hints of the wine, butter, and seasonings of your turkey. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Nutritional Note: Happily, this roasted turkey is Paleo, SCD & GAPS compliant, and Ketogenic. It's not vegetarian, and the white wine and grass-fed butter make in non-compliant with Clean (but no one should be on a cleanse on Thanskgiving!).
  2. Prep Time: 24 hours in advance for the brine; approximately 45 minutes prepping the turkey to go into the oven. Make sure your Turkey Stock and Stuffing are prepared prior to prepping the turkey so you're ready to stuff & place in the oven. Aproximately 4-6 hours to roast, depending on the size of your turkey.
  3. Yield: One big turkey large enough to feed a big, extended family!
  4. Tools: Many tools are used for this special meal: a roasting pan and rack, a baster, an oven thermometer and a meat thermometer, a 5-gallon bucket and trash bag for the brine, paper towels, and a brown paper bag.
  5. Recipe Cost: This will vary for each person, but this recipe cost us $75.39. A special meal!
Adapted from Sylvia Sebastiani
Adapted from Sylvia Sebastiani
Oreganic Farms http://oreganicfarms.com/

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