The Ultimate Roast Turkey
I devised this brilliant way to roast a turkey by streamlining and – dare I say? – improving a recipe by Martha Stewart. The clever idea of using cheesecloth soaked in white wine and melted butter ensures moist meat (especially the breast) by insulating the bird. At the same time, because of the porous nature of cheesecloth, the skin becomes a gorgeous burnished brown and crispy. Cheesecloth is sold in most cookware stores and some supermarkets. While the turkey is roasting, make stock by simmering the neck and innards (except liver) along with a carrot, a small onion and herbs of choice in water to cover for at least 2 hours. Drain; discard solids. When you peel the cheesecloth off after roasting the turkey, you won’t believe your eyes. And a bottle of wine and a half-pound of butter do wonders for both taste and texture. Yer welcome!
About 20-lb/9-kilo turkey
1 cup (½ lb/250 g) butter
750-mL bottle dry white wine
Preheat oven to 325F.
Cut piece of cheesecloth to form 4 layers about 18 inches/46 cm square.
In saucepan, melt butter with wine over medium-low heat. Place cheesecloth in saucepan; let soak.
Place turkey on wire rack in roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt. Place soaked cheesecloth on top to cover breast and legs.
Roast in oven 4 to 4½ hours, basting every half-hour with butter/wine mixture, until juices run clear or thermometer placed in thickest part of thigh (do not touch bone) registers 180F (82C) for stuffed turkey, 170F (77C) for unstuffed.
Remove turkey from oven. Carefully peel off cheesecloth. Let stand about 15 minutes before carving.
Makes 12 to 14 servings.
Red currant or black currant jam are best but others like raspberry would be fine.
About 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups home-made turkey stock
1 tbsp jam or jelly
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Transfer cooked turkey on its wire rack to cutting board.
Drain and discard all but about 4 tablespoons of drippings from roasting pan. Place pan on stove over medium-low heat. Add flour; whisk until smooth. Add stock. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, whisking and scraping up all browned bits from pan until smooth and thickened. Add jam, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Pour gravy through sieve; discard solids.
Makes about 3 cups.