Convection roasted no-baste stuffed turkey with gravy

Roast turkey is an American tradition, but few dishes are so often disappointing. I have found that the combination of brining and convection roasting provides the best results in terms of moist meat and crispy skin without the need to turn and/or baste the turkey during cooking. Preheating the stuffing before putting it in the bird lets you cook the stuffing to a safe temperature without overcooking the bird. I like a natural, preferably organic, turkey and always stay away from those that are injected with crap to “improve” the flavor. The timing here is for a 15-16 lb turkey.

To brine, put the raw turkey (thawed if previously frozen), giblets and neck removed and saved, in a large pot. Add cold water with a measuring cup to just cover. Remove the turkey and add to the water 2 TB of table salt for every quart of water, or 1/2c per gallon (you did keep track, right?). You can use kosher salt if you like, but why go to the extra expense when it’s all going down the drain eventually? Stir to dissolve and return the turkey to the pot. Brine for 12 hours in the fridge—a couple of hours more or less won’t be a problem. Discard the brine and thoroughly rinse the turkey. Let the turkey sit at room temperature, uncovered, for at least an hour before stuffing. Cut off and reserve the wingtips and remove any large lumps of fat from the cavity.

Put the neck, giblets (but not the liver), and wingtips in a saucepan with a bit of onion, carrot, and celery. Cover with water, add a bit of salt, and simmer until the neck falls apart, adding more water if needed. Strain, discard the solids, and set aside.

Preheat your convection oven to 350f and set the rack to near the bottom.

Make your favorite stuffing. Just before stuffing the turkey, reheat the stuffing until it’s too hot to handle with your hands. Stuff the cavity of the bird. If there’s not enough skin to cover the opening to the cavity, use a small piece of aluminum foil to cover the exposed stuffing so it does not dry out. Some people like to stuff the neck cavity as well, but I find it to be too much bother for the small amount of stuffing it holds. Use kitchen string to tie the wings against the body of the turkey and to tie the ends of the drumsticks together.

Put the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and brush all over with olive oil. Scatter some chunks of onion, carrot, and celery in the bottom of the pan and add a cup or 2 of water. After 30 minutes check to see if it is browning evenly-if not, rotate the pan half a turn. Add water as needed to keep a half inch or so in the bottom of the pan. Roast for 1 hour.

After the hour is up, reduce heat to 250f. After another hour and a half start checking the turkey with a meat thermometer. You want 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. Remove the turkey to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

To make gravy, remove the roasting rack and place the roasting pan on the stove. You should have a cup or 2 of liquid in the pan. Bring to a gentle boil and stir, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan and mashing the remnants of the vegetables. Add the reserved turkey stock and continue to boil for a minute or 2. Strain the liquid into a heatproof bowl and skim off the fat. If necessary, add chicken stock to make 1 quart.

Add 6 TB of butter to the pan-you can use all or part of the fat you skimmed off in the previous step in place of butter. Over low heat, add 1/2c flour and stir for a few minutes until completely combined with the fat but not browned. Slowly add the stock, stirring with a whisk, and stir until smooth and thickened. Correct seasoning. Strain (to remove any lumps of flour that remain) into your gravy boat.

Explore posts in the same categories: Poultry

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