Tips for Thanksgiving: (more tips to come)
*The darker your roasting pan, the darker, and richer your drippings for gravy will be.
*You don't have to wake up at 5 am to cook your turkey! Cooking at a high temp, for a shorter time will also yield a juicy, moist and golden brown turkey.
Decorations: I save my pumpkins of all sizes from Halloween (uncarved of course) And spray paint them copper, gold, silver, and plum would be beautiful too. Add ribbon and leaves and its a gorgeous centerpiece!
I have tried lots of different ways to cook my Turkey. This is my ultimate favorite. It's so flavorful, makes awesome gravy and it is beautiful.
(When I first read this recipe and it said Lemons, I said, "what?!" But I tried it, and I love it)
LEMON AND ROSEMARY SALTED TURKEY
2 tablespoons (or so) fresh rosemary leaves, no stem, chopped
2-3 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 cup Kosher salt (or coarse salt)
Put it all in a food processor or blender and pulse until well blended. Set aside
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2 8-10 lb. turkeys or one large turkey
2 white onions, sliced
4 large carrots, halved
4 celery stalks, cut into 4 in. pieces (or thereabouts)
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup olive oil
8-10 sprigs fresh rosemary
2-4 lemons, cut in half
whole celery sticks
whole large carrots
Remove the neck and giblets. ( I don't use these but you can put them in your gravy to add flavor)
Rinse turkeys inside and out, and pat dry with a paper towel.
On the bottom of your roasting pan alternate celery sticks with carrots and place the turkey on top so the turkey isn't sitting directly on the pan.
Pour the quart of chicken stock into the bottom of the roaster.Coat the turkey with about 1/4 C. of olive oil. Rub the salt mixture all over the turkey, pressing it in to make it stick. Put the sprigs of rosemary and the halved lemons inside the turkey along with the cut celery sticks and carrots, and onion.
The 8-10 lb. turkeys will take approx. 1- 1 1/2 hours to cook. I always buy the pop up thermometer if the turkey doesn't have one. You can also tell its done by inserting a meat thermometer deep in the thigh, but make sure you don't touch the bone, and it reads 165 degrees.
a 20 lb. turkey will be ready in about 2 hours.
Always let the turkey rest for about 15-20 minutes before you cut into it.
3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. flour
juices and drippings from roasting pan - you can add more chicken stock if you need more gravy.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add flour and cook at least 4 minutes to cook out the flour taste. Add the juices from the roasting pan and cook until thick and bubbly. There is a lot of salt on the turkeys that drip off, so taste before adding additional salt!
I can smell it already. I can't wait!
STUFFED SWEET POTATOES
The first time I made these, I followed the directions and made them like baked potatoes, which is fun and different. I made them again, and just did it like a casserole which made the topping more evenly distributed. Either way these are delicious!
6 sweet potatoes
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup toasted pecan pieces
1 cup mini marshmallows
Oven to 400 degrees
Scrub potatoes until well cleaned. Prick with a fork about 4-5 times. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for approx. 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle goes in easily.
In a large bowl mix butter, sugar, and flour until crumbly. Add cinnamon, salt, pecans and marshmallows; fold gently until well blended.
Slice the potatoes lengthwise down the center and push the ends towards the middle so it opens up. Stuff the sweet potatoes with the streusel topping and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Enjoy!
To toast the nuts place on a cookie sheet, and bake at 350 for about 5-10 minutes.