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Thanksgiving Turkey & Gravy

Halloween is 2 days away so naturally we’ve all got turkey on the brain! Kidding aside, this time of year the local food scene is bursting with fresh options for your holiday meals. We are once again partnering with The Good Life Farm to deliver turkeys to some of our pick-up sites! Turkeys come in a variety of sizes and you can reserve yours with a $40 deposit. Contact Melissa – melissa@thegoodlifefarm.org to learn more and reserve your local pastured certified organic turkey! We were lucky enough to test out one of these birds in our farm kitchen last week and it was delicious! Our crew feasted for lunch on turkey, mashed parsnips, and gravy. The leftovers were simmered into homemade turkey stock. We’re happy to share this simple turkey recipe with you that will pair perfectly with all of your sides and fixings – and don’t forget to reserve your Thanksgiving Share Box!

Thanksgiving Turkey & Gravy

There are a lot of methods out there on producing the tastiest, juiciest bird. I’ve tried  many of them, including deep-fried, brined, grilled, smoked, and glazed. My favorite method (and the easiest) is dry-brining and high temperature roasting. A dry brine takes up much less room in your refrigerator, you don’t have to deal with a turkey in a bag of liquid, and the results are delicious! High temperature roasting seals in the juices and ensures a tender bird without cooking so long it dries out. To dry brine your turkey, remove the innards and rub salt all over the inside and outside. Let sit uncovered in the refrigerator (a rimmed baking sheet or large metal bowl works well for this) for 6 – 7 hours or overnight. If you want to you can add herbs or pepper to the salt mixture, but plain salt works great! The turkey needs to be rinsed after brining, and patted completely dry. I stuff the turkey with onions, tons of fresh herbs, garlic and lemon or orange.

Thanksgiving Turkey & Gravy

The turkey is roasted first at 425°F to brown the skin, and finished at 325°F. While the turkey rests make a simple gravy from the pan drippings with white wine, butter, and herbs. We used a dash of Pinot Gris from Bet the Farm Winery for a rich gravy with no leftovers!

Thanksgiving Turkey & Gravy

Dry Brined Turkey & Pan Gravy

adapted from Bon Appetit 

12 – 16 lb turkey, giblets and neck removed
For stuffing the turkey:1 onion, 1 head of garlic, 2 lemons or oranges, and several bunches of fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, sage, and rosemary
2 cups or more chicken stock
salt for brining

For each 5 lbs of turkey, measure 1 tablespoon of salt into a small bowl (15l b turkey = 3 tablespoons salt). Rub the turkey inside and out with the salt, concentrating on the thicker parts of the bird like the breast and thigh. Place the turkey in a large bowl or an a rimmed baking sheet and let sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 6 -7 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Rinse the turkey inside and out in cool water, and dry thoroughly. Stuff the inside of the turkey with aromatics and herbs, tie the legs together, and roast for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 325°F. Continue to roast for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, basting with the pan juices every 30 minutes until the turkey reaches 165°F. Let the turkey rest tented with foil for 30 minutes before carving. Add more stock to the pan as necessary during cooking.

Rich Pan Gravy

Pan juices from roast turkey
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups or more chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 -2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional, omit if gravy is salty enough without)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt & pepper

Carefully strain the pan juices and discard the solids. Skim the fat from the surface. Combine the stock and drippings. Place the roasting pan over two burners, set to medium high heat. Add the wine and cook, scraping the bits from the bottom, until wine is almost evaporated about two minutes. Melt the butter in the pan and whisk in the flour, cooking until the roux is a deep golden brown about 5 minutes. Whisk in the stock and drippings mixture 1/2 cup at a time, and continue to whisk constantly until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, and add cider vinegar. Strain if desired. Taste and add soy sauce or salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in fresh herbs. Keep warm until serving.

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