January 5, 2011

Roast Turkey with Brown Sugar and Mustard glaze

I'd have to say that the Turkey was the part of my Christmas cooking I was most nervous about. I had never cooked a Turkey before in my life, and I think I've only cooked a couple of roast chickens before. That's the extent of my roasting abilities! I was fine with getting the stuffing ready, and the glaze and all that, but I was worried that I wouldn't get the timing right and that I'd either over or under cook the turkey. I posted on twitter the night before saying that I was nervous about the Turkey and got some lovely responses that made me feel a lot better about it. I can't say that it completely took my nerves away though!
So this is the Turkey I used. It was a 4.8kg one that I'd just bought from the supermarket. I'd had to thaw it for about three days by this time. It was a little overwhelming at first, the idea of touching all this raw meat kind of freaked me out a little, but I found once I got going I got more comfortable. I'd decided to try the turkey from the Martha Stewart website with Brown Sugar and Mustard glaze.
1 whole turkey, thawed if frozen, rinsed and patted dry
course salt and ground pepper
4 cups Pecan Cornbread Dressing
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C with rack in lowest position. Place turkey on roasting rack set in a large roasting pan. Season inside of turkey with salt and pepper. Loosely fill neck and large cavity with dressing; fold skin over, and secure with skewers or trussing needles, if necessary. Bend wing tips forward, and tuck under neck cavity. Using kitchen twine, the legs together securely. Rub turkey all over with butter, season with salt and pepper.
2. Add neck, giblets, and 3 cups water to roasting pan. Cover turkey loosely with aluminium foil. Roast 1 hour, and then baste with pan juices every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 52 degrees C (125 degrees F), 1 to 2 hours more.
3. Remove foil; increase heat to 205 degrees C (400 F). In a small bowl, stir together sugar and mustard; brush turkey with glaze. Rotate pan, and continue to roast turkey, brushing with glaze 2 to 3 more times, until thermometer registers 165 degrees, 45 minutes to 1 hour more.
4. Transfer turkey to a platter; reserve pan with drippings for gravy. Cover turkey loosely with foil, and let rest at least 30 minutes (or up to 1 hour). Before serving, remove dressing, and carve.
Finally the turkey was done. I was so nervous when we took it out of the oven and later went to carve it. I was so crushed when we took the legs off and found they weren't completely cooked. But then my Dad carved into the breast and it was cooked perfectly. I found out later that this had happened to a friend of mine who had decided to cook a turkey this year too. I'm so glad that I went with the brown sugar and mustard glaze, it was very sweet and added such a lovely taste to the turkey. The Pecan Cornbread stuffing was really nice too, it had a very nice subtle flavour to it which I really liked and it had contrasting textures of soft bread and crunchy pecans. 
I also found a Turkey Gravy from the Martha Stewart website which I decided to use. The only problem was that in all my worries about the Turkey, I'd actually forgotten to make sure there was enough water in the bottom of the pan so once I went to make the gravy there was hardly any juices left in the pan. I ended up deciding to use whatever I had left there, which I'm not sure was the greatest idea but it didn't seem to effect the gravy in a bad way. I did find though that this recipe didn't make enough gravy for all the people we had attending our Christmas lunch so I had to mix up more or the flour/chicken brother mix and added a little gravy powder in for a little bit of extra flavour. In the end I was really happy with how the gravy worked out, it had a nice flavour and there was plenty to go around for everyone.
1/3 cup plain flour
3 to 4 cups chicken broth
Pan drippings from 1 roast turkey
1. In a jar with a lid, shake the flour together with 1 cup of the broth. Place the pan with drippings over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Whisk in the flour mixture. Cook to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining broth and simmer to reach desired thickness. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Serve with roasted turkey.

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