We did a very simple Thanksgiving: A beautiful heritage turkey from Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats, wrapped in a butter-and-stock-drenched cheesecloth, from a recipe by Michael Symon, served to guests who traveled from afar. We rented a table to fit everyone and to cover that table I bought a 10′ length of burlap. Today I will reuse that burlap in the garden to wrap a honeysuckle bush a buck has been using as a scratching post for his antlers.
As for the turkey – I can’t imagine ever going back to basting or brining. Chef Symon’s recipe made for the most luscious flesh & crispy skinned bird we have ever cooked. For my own reference next year, his recipe is below.
Our heritage bird was 16 pounds, and we cooked it at 350 for almost 3 hours, which brought the internal temp to 190, which should have been a disaster. But, it was perfect.
Chef Michael Symon’s Roast Turkey
- 1-12# fresh organic turkey
- 1 bunch thyme
- 1 halved lemon
- 1 halved red onion
- 4 cloves peeled garlic
- 1 bulb quartered fennel
- 1 large piece of cheesecloth
- 1 # butter
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbl salt
Remove innards from turkey and rinse inside and out. Place all veg, herbs, stock and butter in large pot and bring to simmer. Place cheesecloth in pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain liquid and reserve vegetables and herbs and let them cool. Stuff cooled vegetable mix in cavity of bird and place on roasting rack in pan breast side up. Cover bird with soaked cheesecloth and place liquid in bottom of pan and place in 350 degree oven for 2 hours. Open oven and remove cheesecloth and baste with liquid. Raise temperature to 400 and continue to cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove turkey from oven and make sure leg and thigh are at 160 internal temperature. Let rest for 30 minutes and serve.
More Thanksgiving recipes from Chef Symon here.