Roast Turkey? Yes! Bring it on down! Anytime!
Hang around with me more often, I really have what it takes to make you not just tolerate roast turkey once a year, but LOVE it year-round. Need some supportive turkey therapy before you start? Start by reading this chapter on how to make the perfect turkey: Big Bird will become your best friend! It’s all there, tips, recipes, leftovers ideas.
I love juniper berries—they are the spice that give gin its unmistakable flavor. They are easy to find in health food stores. Put them in a plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin or with a hammer or meat mallet so they give off their full flavor.
This is one of my favorite roast turkey recipes
But there is no reason why you can’t make it with your favorite herbs, seasonings, and cooking liquids, just as long as you follow the simple rules I have provided, and get different results each time.
- 1⁄4 cup juniper berries, slightly crushed (place them in a zipper bag, and crush them with a rolling pin; they might be hard to find on Passover: in this case, just skip them)
- 3 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 4 sprigs sage
- 6 to 8 bay leaves
- A dozen whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 2 large red onions, skins reserved, sliced very thin (the skins give the sauce a beautiful amber color)
- 4 cups dry white wine (if you would rather not use alcohol, substitute cranberry or pomegranate juice, or natural apple cider)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 12- to 14-pound turkey, preferably fresh, or frozen and completely thawed
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Place all but last ingredient in a roasting pan. Throw in the onion skins and combine. Place the turkey in the pan, breast side down. Cover the pan loosely with foil, and bake for about 21⁄2 hours.
Turn the turkey over, discard the foil, and bake uncovered about 1 hour more, until the breast gets a deep amber color and the juices run clear when you pierce the breast with a knife. Transfer the turkey onto a slicing board.
Let the turkey rest about 15 minutes before slicing. While the turkey rests and gets sliced, reduce the liquid in the pan on a high flame to about 3 to 4 cups (if that’s all you have left, then don’t reduce), and strain—pressing hard on the solids to extract the most flavor—over the sliced turkey.