Roasted Turkey Two Ways

This recipe comes in two parts: the Slow-Braised Stuffed Leg and the Whole Roasted Breast. Note: Start your breast preparation once you[ have placed the legs in the oven.]

Total Time:
4 hr 20 min
Prep:
1 hr
Inactive:
30 min
Cook:
2 hr 50 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 (20-pound) turkey
  • Stuffed Legs:
  • 2 turkey legs
  • 8 ounces Wild Mushroom Stuffing, recipe follows
  • 4 ounces olive oil
  • 8 ounces chicken stock
  • 2 carrots peeled in 1-inch sections
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced in 1-inch sections
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • Butcher string
  • Wood skewers
  • Wild Mushroom Stuffing:
  • 1/4 pound foie gras or chicken liver
  • 2 loaves dried bread, crusts removed and cubed
  • 1/2 -ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery and leaves chopped
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Roasted Breast:
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 whole double-breast turkey
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces olive oil
Directions
Stuffed Legs:

With a sharp knife, separate legs from the rest of turkey and cut off backbone. Reserve breast for roasting.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Debone turkey legs. Remove silver skin and all tendons. With skin side down, cover with plastic wrap and pound out evenly. Season inside with salt and pepper.

Add 8 ounces of mushroom stuffing evenly across middle section. Roll into a tight cylinder. Tie with butcher's string and close ends with skewers. Season outside with salt and pepper. Heat a roasting pan and add olive oil. Sear meat until golden brown.

Remove legs from roasting pan. Add carrots, celery, onion and rosemary and cook until brown. Deglaze with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and add turkey legs. Slowly braise the legs in the oven for about 2 hours until internal temperature is 130 degrees F.

Remove foil and finish roasting to get color on the meat, until internal temperature is 140 degrees F.

Remove legs and set aside on a platter. Cover with foil until ready to slice.

Add 2 cups of pomegranate juice to the braising liquid. Simmer for 10 minutes then puree the sauce through a food mill. Carrots, onions and celery will thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit for about 30 minutes and with a small ladle, remove excess fat. Remove string and skewers. Slice into half-inch portions and serve with sauce.

Wild Mushroom Stuffing:

Render foie gras or chicken liver in saute pan. Remove and pour rendered fat over bread. Dice and reserve. (If you use chicken liver instead or foie gras, add 4 tablespoons of butter).

Rinse dried porcini and soak in warm water. Drain and chop mushrooms, reserving liquid.

Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium heat and add onions, celery and pancetta. Cook until vegetables become translucent. Combine dried mushrooms and fresh mushrooms and add reserved mushroom liquid and stock. Cook over medium heat and reduce until almost dry. Set aside.

Place foie gras or chicken liver and dried bread crumbs in a large bowl. Add herbs, beaten eggs and mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.

Fill legs of turkey according to recipe (or place stuffing in a buttered gratin dish and bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven for 30 minutes).

Roasted Breast:

Mix butter, rosemary, salt and pepper, to taste until nice and smooth. With your hands, carefully separate turkey skin from the breast meat. Spread rosemary butter evenly between skin and meat. Season turkey breast with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil.

Place in roasting pan with a rack. If your oven is large enough, you can roast the turkey breast in the same oven while you braise the stuffed legs, which I prefer, because the steam from the braising liquid keeps the stuffing moist.

Roast until internal temperature is 165 degrees F. Baste every 15 minutes with the pan drippings.

When breast is done, cover with foil and let rest in a warm place until you are ready to carve.

Yield: 12 servings


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