Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Honey Brined Smoked Turkey with Wild Mushroom Gravy

Turkey1 12-pound turkey
Brine: 1 cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt
2 cups of honey
1 bunch fresh sage
1 bunch fresh thyme
3 tablespoons cracked black pepper

Turkey Stock:
Turkey giblets, neck, and other trimmings
1 onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 cups chicken stock

Herb Butter:
8 tablespoons (one stick) softened unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped sage
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon

Wild Mushroom Gravy:
1/4 cup olive oil
10 shallots, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled
12 ounces mixed wild mushrooms (such as oyster, morel and stemmed shiitake), sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 3/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 cup dry Marsala
1/2 cup dry Sherry
1 1/2 cups Turkey stock
1 cup whipping cream

Smoking the Turkey:
1 bag of charcol
1 bag of hickory chunks or chips (soaked in apple juice)

Roasting the Turkey:
1 onion, sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 to 5 cups turkey stock
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
Brine: One to two days before serving, place 1 gallon of water in a large stock pot with the sugar, salt, sage, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and chill. Place the turkey in a large plastic bag then inside a large brewing bucket or pale that is big enough to be submerged in the brine. Tie off and refrigerate. Let steep for 24 to 36 hours.

Make Turkey Stock: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the last two joints off each turkey wing, leaving the wing drumstick on the bird, and put them in a small roasting pan. Roast until the skin is well browned, 45 minutes to an hour. Put the roasted wings in a soup pot with the giblets and the neck, setting the liver aside. Add the vegetables, 1 teaspoon salt, several grinds of pepper, chicken stock, and 3 cups cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, for 2 to 3 hours, until the meat is falling from the bones and the turkey gizzard is very tender. Poach the turkey liver in the stock for 6 to 7 minutes; remove, cover, and refrigerate. Strain the stock into a bowl or jug, reserving the giblets, and refrigerate. There should be 5 to 6 cups.

Herb Butter: On serving day, place all the ingredients for the herb butter in a food processor and blend. Transfer to a small pastry bag or Baggie, and set aside.

Lightly Smoking the Turkey: About 5 hours before serving time, remove the turkey from the refrigerator. Lift it out of the brine, and rinse off under fresh cold water. Dry the bird with paper towels. Prepare water smoker or grill until it reaches 225 degrees. Place Turkey in smoker and smoke for 2 hours at a constant tempreture of 225 degrees, turning and basting with turkey stock every hour. (This gives the Turkey a light nice smokey flavor, but does not cook the bird.

Roasting the Smoked Turkey:
Remove Turkey from smoker and place in large roasting pan brest side up. Slide a small rubber spatula between the skin and the breast meat to separate them. Pipe half of the herb butter under the skin of both breasts from the cavity opening, spreading the butter evenly over the whole breast area with the fingertips. Rub the remaining herb butter all over the outside of the bird. Fill the body cavity and the neck cavity loosely with stuffing. Truss the bird loosely with butcher's twine and season with salt and pepper. Spread the sliced vegetables over the bottom of a large roasting pan and lay the turkey on top. Add a cup of stock to the pan. About 4 hours before serving time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and position the rack in the lower half of the oven.

Put the turkey in the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours. Check to see if the turkey is browning evenly, and turn the pan, adding more stock if it gets low. If the turkey is browning too fast, fold a 30-inch length of aluminum foil in half, then fold it loosely again and set it lightly over the turkey breast for the remainder of the roasting time. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees. Roast the turkey for another 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of the thigh is 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (5) and the juices run clear yellow with no tinge of pink when the thigh meat is pierced. If the turkey is not too brown, remove the foil for the last 1/2 hour of cooking. Take the bird out of the oven, and let it rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes while making the gravy.

While the turkey is roasting, remove the congealed fat from the top of the stock, and heat the stock in a saucepan. Cut the reserved giblets and, if desired, the liver into very fine dice. While the turkey is resting, use a little of the stock to deglaze the roasting pan, and strain the pan juices into a pitcher and reserve the vegetables. Allow to rest for a few minutes until the fat separates, then skim the fat from the surface.

Wild Mushroom Gravy:
Turn oven to 300°F. Combine oil, shallots and garlic in small glass baking dish. Cover dish with foil. Bake until shallots and garlic are very tender and pale golden, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Thinly slice shallots and garlic; reserve oil in dish. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.) Transfer 1 tablespoon oil from baking dish to heavy large saucepan. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, sage, and roasted shallots and garlic to saucepan; sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Add Marsala and Sherry; boil until syrupy, about 6 minutes. Add stock; boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add cream; boil until mixture thickens to sauce consistency, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey spank yourself because youre family and friends just decided that you are a BAD ASS GOOD COOK.

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