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Turkey and Gravy tips

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello

Well  it's Christmas is in a  few days. I think in America you have goose at Christmas but we have Turkey in England.

Anyway any tips to get a lovely moist Turkey and a  great gravy would be great. This is what I am planning to do.

I am going to cover my Turkey with streaky bacon. Season it of course but it on some carrots and onion and garlic and a bit of thyme and cook it slowly. I'm also going to put a bit of water in the roasting tin but I am going to do something a but different. Some people put the water in the tray and put the the Turkey on top but for me it tastes a bit wet when you do that. I'm going to put some water in a small oven proof container and put that in the roasting tin and cover the whole tin in foil so it kind of stem roasts it but doesn't get to wet.

For the gravy I have made some chicken stock and reduced it. I am going to take my turkey out the tray and drain the juices of and put them in the freezer to separate the fat and meat juice. Then I'm going to de glaze the pan with some red wine and then add the stock back in with some Bisto and a stock cube if needed. Bare in mind there is some veg in the tray as well for even more flavour.

Any tips that may make it better would be great.

post #2 of 14

Chris, here in the US goose is not that popular.  We actually tend to think of it as an English thing.  There are many ways to get a great turkey and yours sounds fine although I would be a little concerned that the bacon might overpower the turkey.  I prefer to rub my turkey down with softened butter to provide additional fat.

 

As for your gravy, I'm not sure how turkey's are packaged over there but here in the US our turkeys are packaged with the gizzards and neck packed inside the bird.  I take my chicken broth and cook the neck and gizzards in it to give additional flavor for my gravy.  That way I don't need to add any stock cubes.  I also steep some fresh sage in the broth, at the last minute before making my gravy and strain all the solids out before thickening.  Sometimes I then mince the gizzards and add it back to the gravy and sometimes I don't.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello

Actually goose is hardly ever eaten in England. Don't know where that has come from.

Yes I think you have some good ideas there. We call them giblets in England but that is definitely a good idea

post #4 of 14
Perhaps Charles Dickens is responsible for that bit of misinformation - A Christmas Carol.
post #5 of 14
I do the same as Pete, and use the heart too. Just don't use the liver for the stock. It has too strong a flavor.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

I do the same as Pete, and use the heart too. Just don't use the liver for the stock. It has too strong a flavor.


Brian, I usually also throw in the liver as I'm enriching my stock.  Personally, I'm not a big fan of liver, but I haven't had a problem with making the stock too strong, too gamy, or too livery (is that even a word?).  I usually take about 2 quarts of chicken stock (turkey stock if I had thought ahead and made some), add the neck and gizzards (giblets) and simmer until reduced by about 1/4 (down to 1 1/2 quarts).

post #7 of 14
"Livery" is indeed a culinary word! Perhaps many dictionaries are defective but it is a word!

Interesting to hear that you use it in the stock. I sautéed the liver with onions and put half in the stuffing and the other half on a toast point as the cook's treat.

I'd put the whole liver in the stuffing but my family would think it too livery.
post #8 of 14

 In my world the only difference between chicken stock and turkey stock when making gravy is Caramel color. I don't know many people who have turkey stock hanging around the freezer. All anyone needs to do is make sure the turkey is cooked all the way through and not over cooked.  I would worry about the gravy, this is where most people screw up. This is the reason why we make Thanksgiving and/or christmas dinner turkey at home. All I want is good stuffing and gravy on the table. Most people try to make the gravy out of the greasy dripping and liquid. Use good stock and the browned bits and pieces on the turkey pan. I thicken mine with a Roux.......I have never made a stock with organs and liver in it. I come from the school that if you start off with quality you end up with quality..........

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBillyB View Post
 

 In my world the only difference between chicken stock and turkey stock when making gravy is Caramel color. I don't know many people who have turkey stock hanging around the freezer. All anyone needs to do is make sure the turkey is cooked all the way through and not over cooked.  I would worry about the gravy, this is where most people screw up. This is the reason why we make Thanksgiving and/or christmas dinner turkey at home. All I want is good stuffing and gravy on the table. Most people try to make the gravy out of the greasy dripping and liquid. Use good stock and the browned bits and pieces on the turkey pan. I thicken mine with a Roux.......I have never made a stock with organs and liver in it. I come from the school that if you start off with quality you end up with quality..........


If you are saying that the organs are not quality then I know many people that would highly disagree with you.  Same when it comes to using the neck in stock.

post #10 of 14
Giblet gravy is called goblet heavy because it has giblets in it, no? I use the goblet in the stock and then chop fine and add it to the finished gravy. Very high quality!

ChefBBilly... Like you, I can be happy with just stuffing and gravy. All the rest tends to be distractions.

Regarding giblet quality, I recall seeing news or internet scare story about how unsanitarily giblets are treated during commercial poultry processing. But I figure what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I've not yet been killed by a giblet.
post #11 of 14
PS. After making stock with the neck and giblets I take the meat off the neck, chop it, and put it in the stuffing. Why waste?
post #12 of 14

Pete, I do buy the bone-in ones for my fruit stock!

 

 


Edited by ChefBillyB - 12/23/15 at 10:43am
post #13 of 14
Sorry folks... That was intended to be a SMS to my wife. Please pretend you never saw it. And thank goodness it wasn't too personal!!
post #14 of 14

All I want to see is a nice brown skin. I rubbed butter inside and outside of the skin then seasoned the bird with salt & pepper granulated garlic and then sprinkled paprika over the top and sides. I cut some rosemary from my herb garden and put a bunch inside the bird. The paprika helps with the nice browning. The 12lb bird was cooked at 375 degrees for 1 hr then tented with foil. I then baked it for another hr at 350. The bird was done and is sitting while the sides get made. I always make sure the bird is done way before it's needed. This way the main dish is done and resting for it to be carved......

 

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