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Turkey with tons of flavor, but not tons of labor

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Matthew Mead (FRE))
A detail of a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner is shown with porcini soy turkey, shallot truffle gravy and lemon-herb carrot tarts served on a table.

In many ways, turkey is a bit of a blank slate when it comes to flavor. And that means you pretty much get out of it what you put in it.

So we decided to stack the deck in favor of flavor with this recipe. We combined a potent blend of savory ingredients for a dry rub to add tons of flavor to the turkey, but won’t require tons of work. But before we add the dry rub, first we douse the bird with savory, salty soy sauce. This not only helps the flavor, it also gives it a wonderful bronze color.

Porcini-Soy Turkey With Shallot-Truffle Gravy

Start to finish: 2 1/2 to 3 hours

Makes a 12- to 14-pound turkey with gravy

2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus extra

3 stalks celery, roughly chopped

4 medium carrots, roughly chopped

4 large onions, roughly chopped

12- to 14-pound turkey

1 cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

1/2 cup white wine

2 medium shallots, chopped

2 cups no-salt turkey stock

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Salt

Truffle oil, to taste

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a spice grinder, combine the dried porcini, thyme, paprika and black pepper. Grind until finely powdered, then set aside,

In a large roasting pan, arrange the celery, carrots and onions in an even layer. Use paper towels to pat dry the turkey, then set it over the vegetables in the pan.

Pour the soy sauce all over the turkey, being sure to coat both sides and pour some into the cavity. Reserve 1/4 cup of the porcini seasoning mixture, then rub the remainder all over the turkey.

Turn the turkey so it is breast side down on the vegetables. Roast for 1 1/2 hours, then turn the turkey over to be breast side up. Sprinkle the reserved porcini seasoning over the turkey, then return it to the oven and roast for another 30 to 60 minutes, or until the thigh meat reaches 170 degrees F and the breast reaches 160 degrees F. If the turkey begins to brown more than desired, tent the top with foil.

When the turkey is cooked, transfer it to a serving platter. Cover it with foil and several bath towels to keep it warm.

Use a slotted spoon to remove and discard the vegetables from the roasting pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Once the juices in the pan begin to simmer, add the wine and scrape any browned bits up from the bottom of the pan. Add the shallots and cook until tender.

In a small bowl, whisk together the turkey stock and flour until smooth. While whisking continuously, add the flour-stock mixture to the roasting pan. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and season with salt, pepper and a bit of truffle oil. Serve the gravy alongside the turkey.

Nutrition information per serving: 440 calories; 170 calories from fat (39 percent of total calories); 19 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 185 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 58 g protein; 760 mg sodium.

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