Roast Brined Turkey with Moroccan Stuffing & Pan Gravy

Yes - this is not a "Wednesday Night Dinner Recipe" but when do you ever roast turkey using a "simple" recipe? Use this for Thanksgiving or Christmas when the family are gathered in the kitchen. The recipe can be divided into jobs for everyone from Grandma to cousin Joey. At the end is a succulent turkey dinner that does not taste like any other turkey dinner they ever had.

Ingredients

  • grated lemon rind - MS  ·  2 teaspoons 
  • celery, diced - MS  ·  1 cup 
  • large cloves garlic, finely minced - MS  ·  4 
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped - MS  ·  2 tablespoons 
  • fresh lemon thyme, finely chopped or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme - MS  ·  4 tablespoons 
  • butter - MS  ·  4 tablespoons 
  • hot chicken stock - MS  ·  1 1/2 cup 
  • dates, pitted, coarse chop - MS  ·  3/4 cup 
  • cup pine nuts, lightly toasted - MS  ·  1/2 cup 
  • bread cubes, toasted ¼ to ½ inch - MS  ·  5 cups 
  • green apple, diced - MS  ·  1 cup 
  • grated orange rind - MS  ·  1 teaspoon 
  • carrot, diced - MS  ·  1 cup 
  • olive oil - MS  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • olive oil - PG  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • medium onion, coarse chop - PG  ·  1 
  • small carrot, coarse chop - PG  ·  1 
  • stalk celery, coarse chop - PG  ·  1 
  • water - PG  ·  2 cups 
  • chicken stock, reduced sodium or no salt - PG  ·  4 cups 
  • sprigs of thyme - PG  ·  3 
  • butter - PG  ·  2 1/2 tablespoon 
  • white flour - PG  ·  2 1/2 tablespoon 
  • large boiled and well mashed potato - PG  ·  1 
  • Herbie's Ground Ginger - MS  ·  3/4 teaspoon 
  • kosher salt  ·  1 cup 
  • brown sugar  ·  1/2 cup 
  • cold water  ·  2 gallons 
  • stuffing (recipe follows) MS  ·  8 cups 
  • butter, soft  ·  2 tablespoons 
  • white wine  ·  1 cup 
  • chicken stock  ·  1 cup 
  • Pan gravy (recipe follows)  ·   
  • Williamson, Balsamic, Garlic and Herb Jam  ·   
  • Herbie's Ground Cumin - MS  ·  1½ teaspoons 
  • Herbie's Ground Coriander - MS  ·  1½  teaspoons 
  • (12-14 lb )fresh free-range turkey  ·  1  
  • Herbie's Ground Cardamom - MS  ·  3/4 teaspoon 
  • Herbie's Ground Allspice - MS  ·  1/4 teaspoon 
  • Herbie's Ground Cinnamon - MS  ·  1/4 teaspoon 
  • Herbie's Cloves (grind in coffee grinder for freshness) - MS  ·  1/4 teaspoon 
  • Herbie's Cayenne - MS  ·  1/4 teaspoon 
  • black pepper - MS  ·  1/2 teaspoon 
  • kosher salt - MS  ·  1 teaspoon 
  • lean slab bacon, cut into slivers - MS  ·  6 ounces 
  • spicy pork sausage (Chorizo, hot Italian, etc), remove from casing and cut into small pieces - MS  ·  1/2 pound 
  • yellow onion, chopped - MS  ·  3 1/2 cup 
  • white mushrooms, rinse, dry, trim and coarsely chop - MS  ·  1 pound 

Instructions

The night before serving, combine the salt, sugar and water in a large pot or plastic container. Stir to dissolve. Remove giblets and neck from the turkey and cut off the tail piece.   Save the neck and tail piece for gravy. Rinse the turkey well and place in the brine.  Refrigerate for up to12 hours.  

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse, inside and out, with cool water and dry well with paper towels. Let sit at room temperature while you make the stuffing. Turn the turkey, breast side down, and stuff the neck cavity with 3 cups of the stuffing.  Skewer the neck skin closed with a metal or bamboo skewer. 

Turn the turkey over and stuff the body cavity with the remaining 5 cups of stuffing. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the opening to keep the stuffing in place and truss the legs.   

Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up, and cover the breast with the soft butter. Add the wine and ½ cup chicken stock to the roasting pan.   

Place the turkey in the oven, on the lowest shelf , reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and roast for approximately 3 hours.   

Add more stock, if the roasting pan is dry, to keep the drippings from burning. Baste after 1 hour.   

Meanwhile make the stock for the pan gravy. After 2 ½ hours, check the temperature at the thickest part of the thigh.  It should read 165 degrees.  If not, continue to roast to 165 degrees.  

Remove from the oven.  Place the turkey on a large platter and tent with foil.  Let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.  

Make the pan gravy.  Remove the stuffing from the neck and body, carve the turkey and serve accompanied by the gravy and the “Balsamic, Garlic and Herb Jam”.

NOTE: You can make the stuffing and the gravy stock the night before and refrigerate.  Just make sure you bring the stuffing up to room temperature before you stuff the turkey and don’t stuff the turkey any earlier than an hour before it goes in the oven.

Moroccan Stuffing  Ingredients included in master list with - MS

Ingredient list for reference: 1½ tsp ground coriander; 1½ tsp ground cumin; ¾ tsp ground ginger; ¾ tsp ground cardamom; ¼ tsp ground allspice; ¼ tsp ground cinnamon; Dash of ground cloves; Dash of cayenne; ½ tsp black pepper; 1 tsp kosher salt; 6 ounces lean slab bacon, cut into slivers; ½ # spicy pork sausage (Chorizo, hot Italian, etc), remove from casing and cut into small pieces; 1 Tbsp. olive oil; 3 ½ cups yellow onion, chopped; 1 # white mushrooms, rinse, dry, trim and coarsely chop; 1 cup celery, diced; 1 cup carrot, diced; 1 green apple, diced; 4 large cloves garlic, finely minced; 4 Tbsp. fresh lemon thyme, finely chopped or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme; 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped; 1 tsp. grated orange rind; 2 tsp grated lemon rind; 4 Tbsp butter; 1 ½ cups hot chicken stock; ¾ cup dates, pitted, coarse chop; ½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted; 5 cups toasted ¼ to ½ inch bread cubes.

Mix the first 10 spice ingredients in a small bowl and reserve.  

Place the bacon and olive oil in a large deep sauté pan and cook on med-low heat, stirring often until the bacon is brown. Increase the heat slightly and add the sausage and cook till all the pink is gone.  

Remove the sausage and the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. 

Add the onions and mushrooms to the fat in the pan and cook 5 to 8 minutes, or until soft. Add the celery, carrot, green apple and garlic and cook 3 minutes more. Stir in the thyme, parsley, orange and lemon rind and the reserved spice mix.  

Add the reserved bacon and sausage and 1 cup of chicken stock. Stir well and bring just to the boil. Take off the heat and add the dates, pine nuts and bread cubes.  The stuffing should be uniformly moist but not overly wet. Add a bit more stock if needed to make the bred cubes moist.

NOTE: Remember, the turkey was brined and the stuffing will pick up salt. Cool the stuffing to room temperature and stuff the turkey. You can also cook the stuffing in a baking pan (well covered) at 350 degrees for 1½ hours. If you do this, taste it and add a little more salt. Also add a little more (½ cup) stock because the inside of the bird adds moisture. Lastly, an unstuffed bird will cook faster so check for temperature after 2 hours of roasting.

Pan Gravy    Ingredients included in master list with - PG

Ingredient list for reference: 1 Tbsp olive oil; Reserved turkey neck and tail; 1 medium onion, coarse chop; 1 small carrot, coarse chop; 1 stalk celery, coarse chop; 2 cups of water; 4 cups chicken stock, reduced sodium or no salt; 3 sprigs of thyme; 2½ Tbsp butter; 2½ Tbsp white flour; 1 large boiled and well mashed potato.

Brown the turkey parts in the oil in a 3 quart saucepan.  Add the onion, carrot and celery and continue to cook for 3 minutes.  Add the water and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.  Add the thyme; continue to simmer 15 minutes more then strain. Discard the turkey and vegetables. Reserve the stock (you should have 4 cups). Do not salt. Re-heat before making the gravy.  

While the turkey rests, remove the fat from the pan juices. Place the butter in a saucepan and add the flour whisking to make a roux.  Whisk in the pan drippings and 3 cups of the hot stock. Taste the gravy and if it is too salty add ½ of the mashed potato.  If it is still to salty add the other ½ .The potato will also help thicken the gravy. Add more stock if you want thinner gravy.

 

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