Clean Thanksgiving TURKEY

 With Thanksgiving only 2 weeks away, I want to share some of the ways to find and flavor your turkey by keeping it CLEAN and absolutely DELICIOUS!

Let’s Talk TURKEY

In case you are wondering, the best tasting, best quality and healthiest turkey to choose will be a free-range, kosher, heritage turkey. The koshering process, which involves soaking the meat in brine and then rubbing it with coarse salt (hence, “kosher salt”), accounts for what many consider the superior flavor, texture, and juiciness of kosher turkey. In addition to kosher you also want to look for a heritage turkey; heritage turkeys are raised the old fashioned way—with plenty of grass and sunshine—and are prized for their rich flavor and succulent meat. Yes, they are a bit pricey, but I personally like to go for quality over quantity. I’d rather choose a smaller top quality fabulous tasting bird rather than a cheap big bird that tastes less than superior. But, that’s just me. If you want to read more about turkeys, here is a great Article from Whole Foods.

 

My Personal Favorite is SIMPLE: Preheat oven to 375°F. After removing the insides (neck, guts/giblets), Rub the inside and out of the turkey with EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil orAny Oil you Use, A sprinkle of salt and pepper on the outside and a tsp of each rubbed on the inside! Basting occasionally and tenting with foil if it gets too dark, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

 

Ginger Glaze Turkey with Roasted Fruit

Ingredients: 
  • 1 (12- to 16-pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 8 Tbsp of EVOO (olive or coconut oil), divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 pears, cored and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 8 dried figs, halved lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Method:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Rinse turkey well and pat dry. Transfer turkey to a rack set inside a large roasting pan and brush all over with 4 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle all over with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and roast, basting occasionally and tenting with foil if it gets too dark, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the glaze by whisking together 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil, ginger and sugar until well combined. Brush entire turkey with glaze and continue to roast, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg reads 165°F, about 30 minutes longer. Remove turkey from the oven and set aside to let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Just after glazing the turkey, prepare the roasted fruit. Combine pears, apples, onions and figs in a medium bowl and toss with remaining 3 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, thyme and pepper. Transfer fruit mixture to a greased 9- x 13-inch baking dish and roast, tossing gently halfway through, until softened and golden brown, about 30 minutes; transfer fruit to a serving dish. Drizzle turkey with pan drippings and serve with fruit on the side.

Rosemary Roasted Turkey

How to Prep and Roast Turkey

Ingredients: Original recipe makes 1 (12 pound) turkey

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 (12 pound) whole turkey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, black pepper and salt. Set aside.
  3. Wash the turkey inside and out; pat dry. Remove any large fat deposits. Loosen the skin from the breast. This is done by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose to the end of the drumstick, being careful not to tear the skin.
  4. Using your hand, spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin and down the thigh and leg. Rub the remainder of the rosemary mixture over the outside of the breast. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat.
  5. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast in the preheated oven 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).