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Lets Talk TURKEY!

12:58 PM

We have turkey at least once a year, as a general rule.  It's actually really hard to get your hands on a fresh one around here... but we FOUND ONE at our local butcher! Ordered it a couple weeks early and it's local, cage-free, bug-and-grass-fed and around $2.75 a pound.   worth. every. penny.   And not really even that expensive, if you think about it.

14 to 16 lbs of fresh Turkey later, we'll all be in a tryptophan coma on Thanksgiving night.  But that's not all!  After all the delicious once-a-year meat has been carved off the carcass it's time to make the best soup EVER... using my grandma's time-tested recipe.

First, you have to roast your turkey!  No deep fryer for me, please... I want this bird done traditionally, so it comes out of the oven looking and smelling like the masterpiece that it is!

Oven Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

1 stick Earth Balance margarine (I don't screw around)
6 cloves of minced garlic
1 bulb of fennel sliced(WITH fronds, if available)
2 tart apples roughly chopped (Macintosh are great)
1 cooking onion roughly chopped
1 bunch fresh rosemary

Unwrap your turkey and put it breast-side up in a roasting pan.  Remove and reserve giblets (so that your husband can make the gravy).  Melt margarine and mix in the garlic.  Separate the skin from the top of the breasts (leave skin INTACT) and spread a bunch of the garlic mixture between the skin and breast meat.  Do the same to the legs until the garlic mixture has been used up.  Stuff bird with fennel, apples, onion and rosemary sprigs.
 Put the turkey on the lowest level of the oven at 500f for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350f degrees. The turkey will be done when the inner temperature reaches 160f. A 14 to 16 pound bird should take a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

 Meanwhile... you can go do something else while your significant other makes:

Giblet Gravy
Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Earth Balance Margarine
1/4 cup flour (gluten-free if you choose)
 Seasalt to taste

Pull the giblets out of the (gross little) bag and put them in a 2.5 quart pot.  Add stock to cover the giblets (about 4 cups).   Boil for about 45 minutes.  Remove giblets and reserve liquid.  Melt 1/2 cup margarine in a sauce pan and mix in flour to form a roux. Add stock a little at a time, whisking constantly until it reaches desired consistency.  Add seasalt if desired.

And then, everyone gets to eat this AMAZING bird, with gravy... and the carcass is all that's left.  WAIT!  DON'T TOSS OUT THE CARCASS!  You can refrigerate or freeze it for when you're ready to make:

Grandma's Amazing Turkey Soup
1 turkey carcass
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 bag of frozen peas
1 box of soup pasta (wheat or rice)
seasalt to taste

Get a HUGE pot.   I'm pretty sure mine's a 3 gallon pot... but if you don't have that, you may chop your carcass in half and end up with 2 batches of soup.  Add Turkey carcass complete with the ingredients that you stuffed it with (fennel, onions, apple...).  Add onion, carrots, celery, and peas.  Fill the pot with water until it's about 2 inches from the top of the carcass.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook about 2-3 hours.  At the very end, with about 10 minutes before you're ready to serve, remove the carcass and pick off any remaining pieces of meat.  Return meat to the soup.  Add 1 box of pasta.  When the pasta's ready (usually only a few more minutes... check the box) you're soup's ready to eat!

Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

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  1. Yummy! Fennel in turkey, never thought of that but sounds amazing!


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