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									                                    Step-by-step Turkey,
                                    Dressing and Gravy
                                      - from Tony’s!

Preparing a Thanksgiving feast can be a challenge, even for the most experienced
cook! Here is a step-by-step plan of exactly how I plan to cook my turkey, dress-
ing and gravy this year. Use it as a general guide or follow it step-by-step; just
remember conditions vary and there is no substitution for your good judgment!
You can get more turkey tips and recipes at
Buon Appetito Salùte! - Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony’s Meats & Specialty Foods

The night before
                                             On Thanksgiving Day
Brine Your Bird
For a moister and more flavorful bird, try   1) Start Turkey
brining your fresh turkey. Remove giblets,   Estimate roasting time for your bird, allowing 15 minutes per
neck and the tail; reserving for homemade
                                             pound. 1 hour before it’s time to start cooking, remove turkey from
                                             brine, rinse, drain and pat dry.
Turkey Brine
                                             Chop enough onion, carrots and celery to cover the bottom of your
One fresh turkey,
                                             roasting pan. Toss with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Scatter into
 10-16 pounds
                                             the bottom of your roasting pan – this will help protect pan from
2 cup Kosher salt
                                             scorching and enhance gravy. Place roasting rack into pan and
1 1/4 c. brown sugar
                                             place turkey in rack.
4 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic, crushed
                                             For the best turkey, roast without stuffing. This helps the turkey
18 peppercorns
                                             cook more evenly, which translates into moister breast meat. Cook-
6 sprigs fresh thyme
                                             ing un-stuffed also allows fat to drain, rather than collecting in the
                                             dressing. To get that ‘roasted in the bird’ flavor, make a simple
Bring 2 quarts of water to boil, add
                                             batch of turkey stock and use it in your dressing recipe and to
salt and sugar, remove from heat and
                                             drizzle over your dressing just before serving. If you want to stuff
stir to dissolve. Add remaining spices
                                             your turkey, skip ahead to the dressing recipe in section two, stuff
and cool. Pour into a plastic bag lined
                                             bird and continue.
5-gallon bucket, adding 2 gallons of
ice water. Place bucket of brine in
                                             Rub turkey with oil and season inside and out with Tony’s Turkey
refrigerator, iced cooler, or in garage
                                             Seasoning, or salt and pepper. Note: Be stingy with salt, it tends to
below 40 degrees (but not freezing).
                                             collect in the bottom of your roasting pan which can make your
Submerge turkey into cold brine,
                                             gravy too salty. Position rack in center of oven and set to 325
adding more water if needed. Leave
                                             degrees. Place turkey in the middle of oven and close door.
in brine for 8-10 hours. Rinse, pat
dry, season and roast as usual.
                                             Roast uncovered for approximately 15 min / pound, adding 40-60
                                             minutes for stuffed birds. If breast is browning too much, tent
                                             loosely with foil near the end of cooking time. Baste regularly with
                                             Tony’s Basting sauce or a combination of butter and low sodium
          Courtesy of                        stock – this has two functions, it enhances color, and the moisture
                                             helps protect the roasting pan and vegetables from scorching.
  Tonys Meats & Specialty Foods                                                            (continued on page 2)

       E Dry Creek Road
        W Mineral Ave                               Tony’s - Feeding Denver well since 1978
          W Bowles Ave                                        Recipes, tips and e-newsletter @
   Catering & Gift Baskets                                                   page 1
            Step-by-step Turkey, Dressing and Gravy
                         - from Tony’s!

2) Start Stock and Dressing
Begin by chopping a total of 8 cups of carrots, onions and celery; set these aside for your
dressing. Save the ends of the carrot, celery and onions for your stock. Here is the recipe.

Homemade Turkey Stock                 Directions: As soon as the turkey is in the oven, set a large stockpot over
1 stick butter                        medium-high heat and melt butter. Add the turkey neck and tail, along with
Turkey neck, tail & giblets           the chopped heart and gizzard - cook to brown. Discard liver or sauté for the
3-4 cups celery, carrots              cook (or the family pet).
  and onions, rough chop                 Add carrots, onion and celery. Sauté and stir to loosen brown bits in pan.
5 ea fresh thyme & parsley sprigs     Add 16 cups water and remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and reduce to
2 bay leaves                          medium. Simmer uncovered until the liquid is reduced to about one-third its
6 whole cloves                        original volume and the taste is rich, about 3 hours. Adjust as desired but do
12 peppercorns                        not over salt! Strain into a measuring cup, pressing on the solids to extract
1/2 tsp salt                          all the liquid. Discard solids and skim fats. Yields approximately 4 cups.

       Turkey Dressing
       Now that your turkey is cooking and your stock is simmering it’s time to clean and sanitize the
       kitchen. Fill a sink with hot soapy water and add 1 cap full of chlorine bleach – no more! Allow all
       turkey contact surfaces one full minute contact in sanitizing solution (towels, knives, cutting boards,
       countertop, even the faucet, telephone and any cupboard handles you may have touched) Wash
       and rinse well, drop all the towels in the laundry. Now it’s time to proceed with your dressing.
       Recipe follows.

 The Ultimate Turkey Dressing                        Directions: Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes and toast lightly
                                                     under broiler. Place in a large bowl. Brown sausage in a
 1 pound loaf of bread                               large skillet, remove with a slotted spoon and add to bread.
  (ciabatta or Challah pref)                         Melt butter along with sausage drippings in the same skil-
 1 pound bulk pork breakfast sausage                 let, adding 8 cups veggie medley along with 1/2 tsp salt and
 1 stick butter (8 TBS)                              sauté for 15 minutes. Add to bread along with sliced mush-
 8 cups chopped medley of celery,                    rooms, pecans, fruit and seasonings and toss to combine.
  carrots and onion                                  Stir eggs in well, and then stir in stock.
 4-8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
 2 cups roasted pecans, chopped                      Place dressing into two large buttered casserole dishes and
 1 large apple, chopped                              roast along with your turkey during the last 45–60 minutes
 1 cup dried apricots, chopped                       (cover for moister dressing, dot with butter and cook un-
 1 cup dried cranberries                             covered for crispier dressing). Or stuff gently into turkey
 1 TBS rubbed sage                                   and place remaining dressing in a casserole to roast on the
 2 tsp dried marjoram                                side.
 1 tsp dry or 1 TBS fresh thyme
 1 tsp salt, separated                               To get that ‘roasted in the bird flavor’, douse dressing with
 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg                       homemade turkey stock just before serving.
 4 eggs, lightly beaten
 1.5 cups turkey (or chicken) stock                  * Dressing Notes:
  plus extra stock for serving.                      This recipe makes a lot of dressing and your oven may be
                                                     full – if so, squeeze one pan in with your turkey and refrig-
                                                     erate the other pan, roasting it after your turkey comes out
                                                     of the oven. If it just won’t fit, place dressing in smaller
                                                     pans and warm gently with medium heat in your microwave
                                                     just before your turkey comes out of the oven. Once the
                                                     turkey is out, roast smaller pans of dressing a hot 375-
                                                     degree oven while your turkey rests and is being carved.
                                                     Dressing is done at 160 degrees internal.
                                                                                                            page 2
             Step-by-step Turkey, Dressing and Gravy
                          - from Tony’s!

Finishing your Turkey

As your turkey nears it’s estimated cooking time, start taking temperature readings in the deepest part of
the thigh. Note: quick read thermometers have a plastic lens that will melt, do not roast them in the
oven. Your turkey is fully cooked when the temperature in the thigh is 180 degrees and the stuffing (if
used) is 165 degrees.

Remove turkey from oven; draining drippings from the body cavity into your roasting pan and transfer bird
to a serving platter. Cover well with aluminum foil and rest 15-20 minutes before carving. Resting allows
carryover cooking to settle juices naturally, making for a juicier bird. Note: the meat may have a slightly
pink hue but the juices will run clear.

With the turkey resting, you can use your oven for any final heating and start your gravy.

4) Make your gravy

Now that the turkey is out of the oven and resting, it’s time to make your gravy. This is a good time to
ask for volunteers to give you a hand putting the final touch on your side dishes, setting the table, heating
the rolls and helping with a little clean up. Gravy recipe follows.

Classic Turkey Gravy

Pan drippings from roasted turkey
Madeira Wine (or dry white wine)
low sodium Turkey or Chicken Stock
Milk and flour slurry

Strain pan drippings into a measuring cup, pressing to release all of the juice, when fats rise, remove with
a bulb baster. Place roasting pan directly over two burners with a medium flame. Immediately add a
hearty splash of Madeira or wine (up to one cup for a large turkey) simmer and loosen brown bits from the
pan with a spatula. Strain wine and pan drippings into a saucepan, adding your defatted drippings and
homemade stock - to taste (usually 2-4 cups depending on stock and drippings). Bring to a simmer.

Allow 1 to 1.5 TBS flour for every cup of liquid. Whisk flour into 1 cup cold milk, removing all lumps.
Slowly whisk 1/2 cup hot stock into milk slurry, then slowly whisk slurry into simmering stock. Simmer to
thicken, stirring regularly. Taste, adjust, strain if desired, and serve hot.

Note: To produce a full-flavored gravy, it is critical not to burn the drippings in the roasting pan. Avoid
this by using a heavy roasting pan in the middle of your oven. Line the pan with minced carrots, onions
and celery and baste turkey regularly with a blend of 1 part butter and 3 parts stock.

Supper’s ready! Buon Appetito – Salùte!
Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony’s Meats and Specialty Foods

                             Tony’s - Feeding Denver well since 1978
                                       Recipes, tips and e-newsletter @
                                                                                                        page 3

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