NOTE: If you purchase a frozen turkey, you must defrost it in the refrigerator, and it can take several days to completely defrost, depending on the size of your bird. Make sure you read the instructions on the turkey packaging so that you allow yourself enough time before turkey day! Also, you should never try to defrost a turkey on your kitchen counter or in the kitchen sink this promotes the growth of harmful bacteria.
- 1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey (reserve giblets, neck and livers for the gravy)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 orange, halved
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1 recipe Giblet Gravy, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and fit a roasting rack inside of a roasting pan.
Transfer the turkey to the kitchen sink and remove its wrapping. Using your hands, search inside the cavity for the neck, gizzards, heart and livers - remove these from the inside of the turkey and set aside, refrigerated, for the gravy. Rinse the turkey well inside and out with cold running water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels and transfer the turkey to the prepared roasting pan.
Season the inside of the turkey with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the onion, carrot, celery, orange halves, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Using kitchen twine, tie the ends of the turkey's legs together as if they were trying to cross their legs. Season the outside of the turkey evenly with remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of Essence. Rub the butter evenly over the entire turkey. Transfer the turkey to the prepared roasting pan and place in the oven.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and carefully remove the turkey from the oven. Combine the chicken stock and the apple cider, and using a turkey baster, baste the top of the turkey evenly with 1/3 of the chicken-apple liquid. Return the turkey to the oven and cook for an additional 1 3/4 to 2 hours, basting twice more during this cooking time with the remaining chicken-apple liquid. The turkey should be a nice golden brown color, and the juices should run clear when you insert the tip of a knife at the joint of the leg and thigh. An instant read thermometer inserted into the joint of the leg and thigh, without touching a bone should register 165 degrees F when the turkey is cooked through. (If the turkey begins to look too browned, cover the top loosely with aluminum foil until it is done.)
Remove the turkey from the roasting pan and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Reserve any juices left in the roasting pan for the gravy.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Giblets, liver, and neck from 1 turkey
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1/3 cup minced celery
- 1/3 cup peeled and minced carrots
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium, heavy pot, melt the butter and the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the giblets, liver, and turkey neck, and cook, stirring until brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic, and saute an additional 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine, stirring to incorporate any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock, thyme sprig, and any reserved juices from the bottom of the roasting pan, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Strain. Adjust seasonings with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve warm with Emeril's Big Bird.
Yield: about 3 cups