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2009-11-19 digital edition

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2009-11-19 / General Stories

From the Chef’s Corner

Thanksgiving Turkey
by Chef Deedle

Well, I hope you have that big Tom turkey tied up in your back yard and your ax sharpened, because there’s not much time left before the “Big Day”.

If you aren’t that prepared, get out and buy a fresh or frozen one. If it’s frozen, be sure and allow it to thaw out in the refrigerator or a cooler filled with water for a few days ahead.

Thanksgiving is one of the most enjoyable times of the year for me. I get to have all my children and grandchildren around me. Also, my birthday usually falls on Thanksgiving or close to it Not only do we celebrate the big turkey day, but we also celebrate my birthday. It’s like having two Christmases, not to mention I get to do a lot of cooking.

For the past few years, my Thanksgiving turkey has turned out especially tasty. If you want your family and friends to think you have “out-done” yourself in the kitchen, try this recipe.

Two of the exceptional seasonings I use are fresh rosemary, Beau Monde, and proscuito ham.
20 lb. Butterball turkey, fresh or frozen
Reynold’s turkey size baggie
1 stick butter, unsalted, melted
6 thin slices proscuito ham, chopped and divided
4 Tbsp. Fresh rosemary, chopped and divided
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. Beau Monde seasoning
1 lg. Yellow onion, chopped coarsely
1 Tbsp flour
2-3 sticks celery, chopped
4 lg. Carrots cut about ¼ inch thick
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine

Combine 4 Tbsp. Proscuito, 4 Tbsp. Rosemary, and 2 garlic cloves; set aside.

Loosen the skin over both breasts of the turkey and both legs. Stuff evenly under loosened skin with proscuito, rosemary, and garlic.

Rub turkey all over with melted butter. Season inside and out with salt, pepper, and Beau Monde.

Flour inside of bag. Using 2/3 cups of chopped vegetables, make a bed in the Reynold’s cooking bag and place turkey breast side up on top of vegetables. Place remaining vegetables inside the cavity. Bake at 350° in a preheated oven for about 2 ½ to 3 hours or until a cooking thermometer reads 190°.

Remove turkey from bag and cover with foil to keep warm on serving platter.

For gravy: Remove 3-4 cups broth to a large pan. Add ½ cup white dry wine (optional), the remaining 2 Tbsp. Proscuito and garlic. Bring to simmer. Add ¼ cup more broth and 2 Tbsp. Flour to thicken gravy.

All the above ingredients can be purchased at Central Market in Austin. Proscuito freezes well and can be used to season beans and other vegetables.

Bon Appetit! Happy Thanksgiving Day!

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