As you sit down with your friends and loved ones in just a few days at your Thanksgiving table, imagine how wonderful it will be to eat an organic turkey!
We found a terrific recipe for cooking your bird (as well as creating the butter and gravy) for you courtesy of OrganicAuthority.com.
You’ll want to find a source for an organic turkey for your dinner. If you don’t know of a location where you can find one nearby, search your local farmers’ markets and even supermarket that are known to sell organic turkey.
You also could try ordering an organic turkey online. Two sites to check into include HeritageFoodUSA.com and DiamondOrganics.com. (It may be too late to order an organic bird for this year’s Thanksgiving by the time you read this, but you can bookmark these two sites for next year.)
Here’s a recipe for fresh herb organic turkey with fresh herb gravy:
You will need (for the turkey):
- One 14- to 16-pound turkey (preferably heritage), rinsed with warm water, patted dry inside and out.
- Take the neck, heart and gizzard turkey stock
- Four fresh thyme sprigs
- Eight fresh sage sprigs
- Four rosemary sprigs (fresh)
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- Two cups of turkey stock
For the gravy:
- Two tablespoons of reserved fat from roast turkey
- One half-cup of chopped shallots
- Two tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Three and one-quarter cups of turkey stock
- One and one-quarter cup dry white wine
- One teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- One teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- One teaspoon chopped fresh sage
For the fresh herb butter:
- Four garlic peeled garlic cloves
- One stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- Two tablespoons olive oil
- Two tablespoons minced shallot
- One tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- One tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- One tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- Two tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
To make the fresh herb butter:
- With a food processor running, drop the garlic down the machine’s tube and chop
- Add all remaining ingredients. Turn process to Pulse setting and blend until the mixture is a coarse paste.
- Transfer to a small bowl.
To ready the turkey:
- Two or three days ahead of time, season the bird inside and out with salt and pepper.
- When ready to prepare, pull the turkey out one hour before putting it in the oven in order to bring to room temperature. (It will cook more evenly as a result.)
- Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 400° F.
- Spread over the turkey’s cavity two tablespoons of the fresh herb butter.
- Fill cavity with fresh herb sprigs.
- Starting at neck end, use a paring knife to loosen skin between skin and meat of breast, thighs and upper drumsticks. Spread remaining the butter between meat and skin over thighs, drumsticks and breast meat. Finish by spreading the remaining butter over the whole bird and salt and pepper to taste.
- Tie legs loosely to hold shape. Tuck wing tips under.
- Place the turkey on the rack with the breast side up in large roasting pan. You can cushion the turkey with some herb branches if you don’t have a rack.
- Pour two cups the turkey stock into pan and roast the bird for one third of cooking time with the breast side up. (Should take about one hour for a three-pound bird).
- After one-third of cooking time has passed, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F., and flip the turkey breast side down. Baste it.
- Roast breast side down for the middle third, and then flip it breast side up for the final third. Baste the turkey a couple of times during the final third of cook time.
- Roast until thermometer inserted into fattest part of the breast, and deep into the thigh registers 160° F (about three hours).
- Remove from the oven, tent the turkey with foil and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. The internal temperature will continue to rise another 5-10 degrees.
To make the fresh herb gravy:
- Take a wooden spoon and scrape browned bits and juices from roasting pan into large glass measuring cup or fat separator. Spoon off the fat and reserve two tablespoons.
- Heat roasting pan over a medium flame and add the two tablespoons of reserved fat.
- Add shallots; sauté one minute. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add flour and cook for two to three minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk until it smells nutty (you will be cooking off the flour taste)
- Whisk in three cups stock, wine and degreased pan juices. Bring to boil, whisking constantly.
- Cook to desired consistency, about five minutes.
- Whisk in the rosemary and sage. Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, strain sauce to remove any lumps.